Welcome to RoboSumo – Semester 2, 2017-2018

Welcome to the RoboSumo project, which is undertaken by students of programme DT066A (Engineering common first year) and programme DT009 in the Dublin Institute of Technology. Over the course of this semester, you will work in teams of (usually) three to design and build a robot that will compete in a RoboSumo tournament. The tournament consists of a series of bouts in which two robots at a time compete to push each other off a table (the arena). A detailed set of rules are provided which impose constraints on the cost, weight, physical dimensions and various other elements of the robot design. It is up to each team to improvise within the specified constraints to produce the most competitive robot they can.

Provisional Schedule

There are 13 teaching weeks in the semester. The provisional schedule for the RoboSumo project is shown below. This schedule is subject to modification and is provided here as a general guide to help you plan your work.

  • Week 1 (this week): Ice breaker exercises, form teams, begin LED Flash Challenge.
  • Week 2: Complete LED Flash Challenge, begin work on Race to the Wall robot.
  • Week 4: Tutors verify that each student’s blog contains a post including text, an original photo and an embedded video.
  • Weeks 6-7: Race to the Wall competition.
  • Note: Two week break for Easter between weeks 9 and 10.
  • Week 9: Tutors verify that each student’s blog contains documentation of the Race to the Wall.
  • Week 12: RoboSumo tournament.
  • Week 13: Closing date for RoboSumo blog entries.

Some things to be aware of

  • We are here to help you learn to manage your project effectively as a team. We will do our best to facilitate your work, but…
  • We are not here to tell you what to do every step of the way. You are expected to carry out independent research to figure out what you need to do to complete this project. We want to help you but we need you to be independent.
  • There are limits to what we can provide in terms of materials and tools. You will probably need to source materials and/or access to tools independently.
  • You will need some of your own tools – e.g. snips, pliers.
  • You and your teammates will need to look after your own robot, materials and components (including the RoboSumo kit) throughout the project. This applies as of today!
  • You need to supply your own batteries.
  • Please do not take apart the yellow motors we give you.
  • Please do not remove the backing sheet from the mini breadboard we give you (unless you’re absolutely certain that you want to stick it to something permanently).

What to do today (Wednesday 24-1-2018)

In today’s lecture (2-3pm in room KE3-008, which is the large lecture theatre on the third floor of the main building in Kevin St), I will describe the project objectives, review the provisional schedule and explain how the assessment works.

In today’s lab (3-6pm in rooms KEG-012, KEG-014 and KEG-036 on the ground floor of the main building in Kevin St), you have four jobs to do. The first three are quite short; the fourth is more challenging.

  1. Meet your tutor(s) – this is the lecturer who will supervise your lab group and assist you in completing the project.
  2. Do some icebreakers.
  3. Form teams of 3 – your tutor will assign each team a number (see number range for each group below) and give you a set of components. It is your responsibility to look after these components (like all your equipment and materials) throughout the project.
  4. Complete (or at least make significant progress on) the LED Flash Challenge. See the previous post on this blog for details.

Each team must have a unique name and team number. Your tutor will assign your team a number from the range allocated to your group, as shown below:

  • Teams 50-59: DT066A Group A1 with John in KEG-012
  • Teams 60-69: DT066A Group A2 with Emma in KEG-014
  • Teams 70-89: DT066A Groups B1 and B2 with Ted/Gavin in KEG-036
  • Teams 90-99: DT009/2 teams (they’ll be in each of the competitions)

Note: Tutors, please make a list of teams in your group that includes team number and team members! (Team name too, if known)

Your kit today will include:

  1. 1 x mini breadboard
  2. 1 x Arduino Nano (with ATmega 328 microcontroller)
  3. 1 x mini USB cable
  4. 2 x green LED
  5. 2 x 220 Ohm resistor

Next week, once you have completed the LED Flash challenge, you will receive the following additional items:

  1. 2 x Arduino Nano (with ATmega 328 microcontroller)
  2. 2 x mini USB cable
  3. 1 x 4AA battery holder with built-in switch
  4. 2 x yellow geared DC motor
  5. 1 x SN754410NE driver chip
  6. 1 x TCRT5000 infrared reflective sensor
  7. 1 x microswitch
  8. 1 x 1000uF electrolytic capacitor
  9. 4 x green LED
  10. 4 x red LED
  11. 4 x yellow LED
  12. 8 x 220 Ohm resistor
  13. 8 x 10 kOhm resistor
  14. 2 x 100 kOhm resistor
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