June 8, 2011 weblog
Robots Playing Shuffleboard (w/ video)
(PhysOrg.com) -- Intense robot battles have, for the most part, been confined to the silver screen. Occasionally a robot comes by to trounce us at chess, but robot on robot competition has been fairly limited. In this case however the combat was not an epic fight to the death, it was a game of shuffleboard.
A team of 36 students from departments the electrical engineering, computer engineering, mechanical engineering and computer science students at Oregon State University create a group of shuffleboard playing robots. The robots gave a brief demonstration of their skills in the atrium of the schools Kelley Engineering Center.
The demonstration was in the form of a tournament. The students, in smaller interdisciplinary groups of three or four, each made a bot that was capable of sensing the puck and moving it as close as possible to the scoring zone in the center of the table as possible. The robots scores ranged from one to four, depending on how close they managed to get the puck to the target.
The game was chosen because it requires only simple movements and it is easy to see how successful the robot has been at achieving the goal, since it has a limited number of interfering factors. Unlike a game like basketball, where the robots would have to account not only for each others movements, but on a ball that can bounce away without warning.
Student teams spent more than 200 hours on their robot players, which were part of a project for an interdisciplinary robotics course that was offered by the university.
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