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Annual robot wars held

May 16, 2014

 

Students competed in the 10th annual Autonomous Robotic Competition on Friday in the TONK. – Photo by Jaime Johnson

Students competed in the 10th annual Autonomous Robotic Competition on Friday in the TONK. – Photo by Jaime Johnson


FREDEDREIA WILLIS
Staff Reporter

Robots came to life and raced for the first place trophy during Louisiana Tech’s annual robot competition.

Tech’s computer science department hosted its 10th Autonomous Robotic Competition Friday in the TONK. The event is held every spring quarter and conducted by Dr. Ben Choi, an associate professor in computer science.

“I like to use the robot competition as a part of class work, so my students can have fun all while learning at the same time,” Choi said. “I am very proud of my students because they have been training in several classes.”

During the competition, several teams of students competed against each other with self-designed autonomous robots to traverse a maze and become the winner.

The winner of this year’s competition is Augustine Aelavanthara with his robot SR-624 Typhoon. Aelavanthara is a senior mechanical engineering major and this is his second time competing in the robotic competition.

“Being a mechanical engineering major, the robotic competition was a fantastic opportunity to explore and apply what I have learned from my discipline,” Aelavanthara said. “It was challenging to integrate 4.6 horsepower thrusters into a robot the size of a small desktop printer, but I am glad the idea paid off.”

The competition consisted of three categories. There were two categories for sumo robots primarily based on their weight classification and there was one category for drag racing robots. The sumo match was fought between two teams, each team having one or more contestants. The drag racing match tested a robot’s ability to travel a set distance.

Throughout the event students also showcased NAO humanoid robots and UAVs. NAO is a programmable and self-directed robot and UAV is unmanned aerial vehicle, which is controlled by a remote.

Sean Foster, a senior electrical engineering technology major, said he loved the showcases and he believes his robot would have been better if he spent more money on it.

“Even though I won last year, I really believe Augustine earned his title for this year,” Foster said. “Augustine and I are two for two now, so I feel like I can graduate in peace.”

Choi said he is very excited about next year competition and their goal is to teach the students how to deal with both the software and hardware.

“This competition is important for them because when they find a job in the future, they will be more diverse,” Choi said. “It gives them the life long learning skills for their future careers by teaching them teamwork.”

Email comments to flw005@latech.edu. 

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