The Robots of Death (ft. The Antenna of Death, and The Shovel of Death)

THE ANTENNA OF DEATH ☠

OVERVIEW: This project was to create a robot that fought and defeated other robots. We made a robot (The Antenna of Death) that would drive under the other contestants and take their wheels off the ground. Our robot was designed to annihilate and humiliate the opponents’ robots in a battle to the death inside the sumo arena. Using wings to create a ramp we were able to lift the other robots of the ground and run them out of the ring.

DESIGN PROCESS: We initially identified that it would be efficient to have the brick upside down for it to be lower to the ground and provide more attaching options. We thought about the options we had and we went with trying to have the lowest design. We also wanted to make it relatively strong so it could withstand a bit of bashing up. So, we made a ramp at the front using the wings to be used as a leverage device to lift the opponents’ robot and push them out of the arena. We didn’t really have any prototypes, we just had fun building the robot from scratch and seeing it fight to the death.

THE SHOVEL OF DEATH Image result for shovel emoji

BACKSTORY: After suffering humiliating defeat at the hands of the Death Triangle, we swore to never be outdone by such a weak opponent EVER again!

CHANGES: Some new rule changes altered our design and prototyping process. A weight handicap was instituted which resulted in the removal of the Antenna of Death’s antenna of death, and it’s really dope back panel. Also, the robot had to be AUTONOMOUS!

DESIGN PROCESS: Due its weight problems (and its inability to perform in the ring), we stripped the entire robot back down the EV3 brick. We brainstormed ways to defeat our inferior opponents, and came up with TORQUE. Using gears, we implemented a… gearing system onto the wheels to create extra power as we pushed the weak enemies out of the ring. Also, after realising the failings of the previous robot, we flipped the wings upside down to ensure that they went as low as they can go. We needed a way of stopping the robot from going off the edge, so we placed a sensor on the front. Once the sensor detected a change of light, it would go backwards a bit, turn, and go forward again. We went into the next battle with high hopes and dreams of a better future for us all.

THE FIGHT: The Shovel of Death failed. It didn’t fall off the ring, but due to structural deficiencies we were defeated once again. The upside-down wings had eliminated any angle the Antenna of Death had, so it didn’t lift the opponent’s wheels off the ground at all. Instead, it provided the other robots with extended piece to lift in order to take OUR wheels off the ground. Also, the wings weren’t very well attached to the robot and were sometimes ripped off, causing us grievous pain. Once the wings were removed, our robot was susceptible to a front-on push that resulted with us out of the ring. Additionally, when the wings were ripped from our existence, the sensor was put out of place and it stopped working good. The gearing system didn’t do as well as we planned and hoped it would… our robot was still less powerful than the others when engaged in a pushing battle. Overall, a fail in the name of SUMO ROBOT WRESTLING. We were so disgraced that we didn’t take any photos of the robot.

 

A terrible design by Matthew, Xavier, and Jack.

The Whiteboard Wischer

An initial prototype of the robot climbing up the vertical whiteboard.

Our robot is designed to help teachers, and other whiteboard users, to automatically clear a whiteboard of writing. Using magnets to hold the EV3 brick up, the robot is able to effortlessly glide across vertical surfaces and uses felt along the bottom to erase the whiteboard marker.

 

INSPIRATION

Xavier said, “Ooh… maybe we should do a whiteboard wiper.”

“No, that’s dumb,” said Jack, “we should do a Whiteboard WischerTM

“Alright,” said Matthew.

 

PROCESS

We started the project by brainstorming ideas and solutions on a provided document. We designed a robot and got to work recreating it with LEGO and the EV3 brick.

Our initial prototype was a brick atop wheels with a bumper on the bottom which pushed the wiping device along the whiteboard.

A mix of duct tape and magnets to create a blanket

We ran into a problem when trying to get the robot to climb up the vertical whiteboard. Using duct tape and magnets brought in by Xavier, we created a blanket that would stick the robot to the surface. Some complications arose from this design. We used so many magnets that the robot couldn’t be moved using the wheels, and the magnets were too tall and they stopped the wheels from reaching the whiteboard.

After realising our last design suffered from an over-abundance of magnets, we decided to scrap the blanket idea and start over. This time, we chose to strategically place the magnets in places that would allow the robot to not only stay on the whiteboard, but move around as well.

 

Magnets duct taped next to the wheels

Placing two of the stronger magnets next to the wheels, the robot’s wheels would stay attached to the whiteboard, and could move around too. Everything was working swell, until the magnets decided to disrupt the peace again. One of the magnets was getting stuck to the whiteboard instead of hovering over it and this caused the robot to go up on an angle instead of driving sideways.

Next, we had to come up with a way to control the robot. There were two options; create a remote control, or automate the robot to move around the whiteboard. Obviously the second option was way cooler so we chose to try make an autonomous cleaning robot. We started by creating a simple program that moved the robot forward (creatively named ‘FORWARD’) and tested it on the whiteboard. The test was a success, so we moved on to harder programming.

Using white reflective tape, we could use a light sensor to… sense the change of light. If taped around the outside of the whiteboard, the robot could tell where the edge is. We placed light sensors on the back and front.

Finally, we readjusted the magnets (again!), in order to place a proper wiper. We moved the magnets to the centre of the robot, and put felt over the top. The magnets pushed the felt on to the whiteboard allowing it to wipe instead of glide over the top.

Felt along the underside of the robot, with a light sensor on the front, and one on the back

 

PROGRAM

Here is our final program (click on it for a larger picture)

Our final program