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Weighing in at less than 1kg and spanning just 20cm, these machines may not be the size of your average sumo but they are serious players in robot sumo. Deakin’s fourth year Mechatronics and Robotics students will set their creations against one another at the annual sumo robotics competition on 30th May.
The student’s robots have been built during the semester to strict specifications; they must weigh-in at less than 1kg, be less than 20cm x 20cm x 30 cm (height) and cost less than $150 to build.
During the event the robots are placed on a sumo wrestling-style platform from which they attempt to push each other off, without falling off themselves.
Faculty of Science and Technology lecturer Ross De Rango says the success of the robots depends on a range of factors:
“They need to be able to sense each other and follow each other’s movements, have the strength to push each other around, and be able to detect the edge of the arena,” he said. “They must also be completely autonomous.”
The sumo challenge is a way for students to draw together all of the skills they have acquired during their course in a practical manner. “These skills range from engineering specific disciplines, such as mechanical design, electronic design and programming, through to broader industrially relevant skills such as project budgeting, time management, progress reporting and project commissioning,” says Mr De Rango.