Robots go into battle against each other...but only at shuffleboard

By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 8:04 PM on 9th June 2011

It wasn't exactly a battle on the scale of the Transformers or Terminator movies but when these robots went into a head to head conflict.

Instead, they were taking part in a shuffleboard tournament in Corvallis, Oregon, which was being held at the State University's Kelley Engineering Center.

A team of 36 students from the electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science, created the robots and took part in the tournament as part of an interdisciplinary applied robotics class.

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A team of 36 students from Oregon State University took part in the robotic shuffleboard challenge

A team of 36 students from Oregon State University took part in the robotic shuffleboard challenge

And their creations took part in the shuffleboard battle on Monday, competing against each other on six 88-inch by 16-inch tables.

Students were given the task of designing and building robots which could 'sense' the puck on the table and propel it as close to the centre as possible in order to score points.

The robot was awarded one to four points per turn depending on where the puck eventually landed.

The game of shuffleboard was chosen because it only required the robots to make simple movements and it was easy to see how successful they were at reaching goal.

 

Challenging: The robots took the students weeks to design and build ahead of the tournament

Challenging: The robots took the students weeks to design and build ahead of the tournament

However the class teacher Jonathan Hurst said that while the game might have been simple the task of building and designing the robots was anything but.

Mechanical engineering student Tim Tunnermann told the Corvallis Gazette-Times that he and his and his teammates Levi Carey and Dane Eastlick - who called their team the 'Pluck Flingers' - spent a combined total of around 200 hours working on their robot.

Tunnermann said the design and construction took eight weeks, while a further two weeks was spent on the finishing touches. The team used an air compressor to construct its robotic arm. - but as he pointed out there were advantages to using a robot to play the game/

'Unless you're an experienced player, it's tough to get the puck in the same place every time,' Tunnermann said. No problem, if you're a robot.'

Meanwhile mechanical engineering student Austin Mosley said that his team, the Funky Town Monkey Pimps, used a variable height ramp on their robot in order to send the puck down the table.

He told the paper that he and his fellow team members Scott Miller and Robert Pearson had taken classes with other engineering majors before but had never before faced such a challenge.

'This was definitely the most intense one,' Mosley said.


 

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