Monday, October 29, 2007

Battle Robot

One of the subject I am currently taking in the 3rd Year of Mechanical Engineering course is called 総合製作 or General Manufacture. We were given two choices between Battle Robot and Miniature Steam Locomotive. I have heard and seen the famous Robocon from various sources before and indeed, the robots they built was impressive and amazed me. I did not have to think twice into deciding between the two.

There will be two person in each group and I teamed up with my tutor. It started with some brain storming on the designs, then sketching up the robot, get those materials which are needed and start working on the robot. We were only provided with two motors and that's all. The rest of the materials will be from the junkyard-like lab. Fortunately for us, the sensei allowed us to order some unavailable materials under a tight budget.

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A month ago

To be honest, the progress of the robot was not as I had expected earlier. During the whole process, we had fixed and taken off the parts; re-designed it so many times that in the end, we did not manage to make it on time for the battle which was yesterday.

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Sour grapes it might sounds, but our sensei hardly give us any advice when we were working on our robot. I know it is just a lame excuse as other teams (not all, but the majority) managed to finish up theirs in time.

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my Dancing-cum-Amok Robot

As for ours, instead of calling it a Battle Robot, I guess it will be more appropriate to name it Dancing-cum-Amok Robot. I feel sorry for my robot, but at the same time, watching at its movement is quite hilarious.

For the 1st Battle yesterday, the first thing was to hand-up every robots to be inspected. You get a ○ : circle if the robot pass every pre-underlined specifications and a × : cross if the robot fails to meet those specification. Our robot got neither of the two. Instead, we got a △ : triangle. The battle is a 2-minute battle and winner will be determined on the robot which manages to knock down its opponent; or push its opponent out of the ring for more than 5 second.

In total, out of more than 10 robots, only 10 was put into the battle. Those 10 robots include 3 robots which got a triangle. Then came the drawing of lots. We did not get to draw it as we happened to be the last on the list to pick the lot. Two team, which are considered as the best two was given a bye in the quarter-finals.

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Game ①: 2 田中・カルビン (Tanaka ・ Karubin). Karubin is me by the way.

It was the last thing we would have hoped. We were drawn into the first battle. See this video of my robot in action at your own risk.


It wasn't even a battle, no? Our robot was practically stood stationary there and just waiting for the opponent to approach it.

Soon, one after another battles continued.

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Note: The following videos will be totally in Japanese and just get prepared to get those shouts of "yabeehh" and "sugeehh" in them.

It wasn't like the battle you watch in Transformers. But nevertheless, it was fun and sometimes, funny. Some ended up losing the tires in the middle of the battle.


For some, it moves slower than any snail you can see. I call it The Snail. It was like taking its sweet time moving one step after another, even without having the controller fixed on but yet, ended up in the winning side.


Although you can come out with a cool and neat robot, but sometimes if luck is not on your side, then it will still be useless. Just like what happened to one of the robot. He later realized that he inserted the battery do ba let*. So, instead of moving forward, it moved backwards, away from the opponent and out of the ring. In other words, it was like a suicidal act of scoring an own goal for your team.

This is the battle between one of the favourite and the one which 'beat' our robot. I will call the favourite one as The Hyperactive based on its speed. As the time was up, the winner was determined based on the overall performance of both robots and nothing surprising to see the favourite advanced to the next round.

This is one of the most hilarious battle. It was against another top-two robot and it was almost impossible to beat it as it has an arm as a mechanism to tumble its opponent. It just stopped and waited there for the underdog to approach it as if it is saying "Come and get me if you can".

When its opponent was close enough, then it started its mission, chasing it and at the same time, using its arm upwards and downwards trying to tumble its opponent. Seeing that coming, first step was to shout out "Yabai! Yabai! Yabai!" (Alamak! Alamak! Alamak!). The second step was to immediately run away from it but it was little too late. The Predator won the battle.

Then came the semi-finals. First battle was between The Hyperactive and The Snail. As The Snail had yet having the controller fixed, it could not be controlled. That guy ended up breaking the rule by moving the robot's direction by pulling the wire over.

Apparently, that breaking-the-rule tactic was still not enough. How will a snail beat a cheetah in a race, no?

Semi-final 2 was between The Predator and another robot. The opponent tried putting a board in front of it to avoid it from being tumbled over by The Predator and initially, it seemed that it worked.

However, once it was hooked up, there was nothing it could do. In the end, it lost to The Predator not because it was tumbled down, but because it was pushed out of the ring.

It wasn't a surprise to see the two favourites - The Predator and The Hyperactive to be in the final.

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They allowed both teams to do some final adjustments and soon, game on!

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Here is the first battle of the final.

Not satisfied by how easily it ended, they requested for a second round and it turned out to be better. The verdict? Watch the video to find out who was the champion.

As expected, it was The Predator who had the last laugh.

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P/S: There will be another battle coming up towards the end of December. Until that day, I will be working on our robots again to improve and make some minor remodeling to make sure it will be far better than what it is at the moment.

*do ba let: a term introduced to me by Fritz which comes from the word "terbalik". Literally, it means opposite.

7 comments:

Zhen said...

hehe! u made it although it didn't win... still you made it there!

calvin said...

@ zhen:
i will be back =D

kokhong said...

thanks for warning... i didn't watch any ...lol

yabai sounds more like shit than alamak...

michelleg said...

next time must be better lar~~ =P

calvin said...

@ kok hong:
sama-sama and good thing that you have not changed into a japanese.

yabai have few meanings, depending on the situation and context.

calvin said...

@ michelleg:
a new better robot will be out this december =)

kh said...

it can mean good and bad... kankei ga yabai... good....

whatever la...