Course: ME353 Mechatronics with Prof. Cusack
Purpose: Build a robust robot to push the other robot out of the “ring”
Key skills used in Sumobot Design and Engineering:
Mechanical design and fabrication using Solidworks, Fusion 360, 3D printing, and aluminum bending
Electrical and electronic design using assembly, C, and C++
Coding and programming for automation and feedback control
Sensor selection and implementation
Understanding of robotics and mechatronics principles
Problem-solving and creative thinking
Project management and time management
The project involved designing and building a Sumobot to compete in a robot sumo competition. Sumobots are fully automated robots designed to push their opponents out of a designated ring. The design process involved creating a physically powerful robot with a well-planned strategy to outplay opponents. The engineering challenges included designing the external and internal components of the robot, such as the use of sensors, motors, feedback control, and code.
The team utilized recurring design techniques in Sumobot competitions, such as wedges, skirts, and surface coatings, to gain strategic advantages over opponents. The exterior design of the robot aimed to execute a ramped fork strategy inspired by the wedge and skirt techniques. The ramp lifted the opposing robot to reduce traction, while the fork trapped the robot to prevent it from escaping. The robot had three tiers, with the first tier housing a white skirt that made it difficult for other robots to go underneath, blocked out light from IR sensors, and triggered opposing IR sensors. The middle tier shielded the wheels and motors, while the top tier served to shield the electronics and provide easy access to components during competition.
The design employed a defense-heavy approach rather than the agile-styled robots, with the motors having a 63:1 gear ratio to optimize both power and speed. The ⅛” aluminum shell and ⅜” acrylic base plate provided structural stability to the robot, with the shell and baseplate bolted together with M3 screws to keep the robot's shape during collisions. All electronics were placed on the mid-tier to keep the center of mass low.
Overall, the project aimed to create a well-designed and fabricated robot that was
physically powerful and had a well-planned strategy to outplay opponents. By utilizing recurring design techniques and engineering principles such as sensors, motors, feedback control, and code, the team successfully built a Sumobot that could compete in Sumobot competitions.