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A Mini-Robot Sumo Competition to Teach Mechatronics to Engineering Undergraduates

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  033131,  2003 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15015) @2003
Authors:   Ronald E. Lacey, Jacqueline E. Price, Joshua M. Peschel
Keywords:   Electronics, robots, mechatronics, education, microcontroller

This paper describes the guidelines and results of a mini robot sumo competition used in a junior level engineering class at Texas A&M University. The course uses a BASIC Stamp (BS2, Parallax Inc.) micro control unit and commercial robots using the BASIC stamp (BOEBOT, Parallax, Inc.) for laboratory exercises. The final exam consists of a totally autonomous mini sumo robot competition between the students held during the final exam period. The students compete in teams of two and submit a design report in addition to the competition. Sumo robot tournaments originated in Japan and have been held in various countries, including several locations within the United States. Japanese rules have only one weight class, 3 kg, but internationally several other classes have been created. The most common in North America is the mini class with a weight limit of 500 g. A widely accepted set of rules has been published by the Northwest Robot Sumo Association which differs from the Japanese rules only in adding weight classes and modifying RC frequencies. Because of the time restrictions in a 3 credit semester class, the footprint dimensions in the Northwest mini-robot sumo rules have been modified slightly to allow students to use the BOEBOT chassis, but they may use other MCUs and create their own chassis if they desire. Student responses have been enthusiastic and the class learning objectives have been achieved.

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