The Last Three Robot Challenges
Posted February 6, 2012on:
#3 – Ribbon Climb
#2 – Battle Bots
and #1 – Inventorying the kits for next year.
Sorry for the trick, but we started trying to put the kits back in order. Most weren’t done after a full hour. All the groups have both a standard kit and a blue resource kit. They were under orders not to borrow or loan to other groups. That didn’t happen. I needed the basic kits back in shape so the students next year can build the basic robot that we use for the first couple of months. The kits are a complete mess.
One trick I came up with from my manufacturing days… I made photocopies of the groups of parts. The student place the identical parts on their picture. When the sheet is full, they deposit that sheet’s parts into the assigned storage location. So simple a child can do it, or hopefully a high school senior.
On to the ribbon climb. This was a variation of the rope climb, but the kids liked it a lot more. The ribbon was a 7 foot-high, 3 inch-wide strip of manila folder that was covered on all sides with duct tape. The folder gave it rigidity so that it could stay within edge guides. The tape gave us protection from massive paper cuts and also provided a higher friction surface.
I educated the kids on the use of gears and mechanical advantage. Some of them listened and their robots carried between 0.5 and 1.5 kg of additional weight up a ribbon.
The actual last challenge was Battle Bots. The rules quickly morphed into the following, and it was a major hit.
- Teams can battle every robot once a day for points. I had to witness the point battles for it to count. Teams can battle as often as they want, just not for points.
- Robots can only be built with the parts in their two kits. No outside materials are allowed.
- You win by flipping your opponent’s robot over or pushing it out of the arena. (Nobody got pushed out, the wall were too high – there will be lower walls next year.)
- The battle goes one minute. If at the end of a minute, there is no winner, both teams get one point. If there is a winner, the winner gets 3 points, the loser gets 1 point.
- You win by accumulating the most points over the period of 5 days.