Let's Make Robots!

Whirligig mini sumo robot- No microcontroller!

competes in the National Robotics Challenge mini sumo contest

This is my attempt at making a mini sumo for the NRC that uses circuitry instead of an expensive microcontroller.  Each switch is wired to reverse one wheel. When triggered, the robot switches from defense, or spinning, to offence, where it runs against the opponent.


Design elements:
-Bottom panel’s height can be adjusted. This allows the skirt to be moved close to the floor, preventing opponents from wedging under 
-To save cost even the battery connectors were homemade. By taking apart two used 9-volt batteries, I was able to solder wires to the top pieces and use them as connectors
-Total price: 15$, way better then buying a kit
-Super sticky wheels are made using foam tape covered with exercise band material. The foam tape compresses to allow for more surface contact, and the band’s rubber sticks to the floor.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

thar's quite good, you could use it in all kinds of ways ,i like, good stuff , i can see you put some time in to it ,keep up the good work and looking forward to more 

Thanks!  Ya- I hope that with lipo batteries (so it goes way faster) and larger, improved touch sensors this might actueally be competitive against real programed robots.  

Very cool idea. Executed well too!

Microcontrollers are actually pretty cheap, but it is nice to see you kept it simple. 

Pretty.. pretty cheap, I'd even say! (And agree with Patrick btw ;)

haha sortof- but im also lazy and dont like programing lol

Great Project, I hope you share your diagram. In the book from Tilden tehre is a very intersting mod for this kind of robots, it uses to bateries and a relay and when the switch is activated the relay changes the abtery conection from parallel to series giving the bot a boost of power :D migth be an interesting addition to your design :D


It would be cool to have a MiniSumo dumbot League :D more randomness and exitement :D

I was just having a look yesterday at the schematic for William Grey Walter's tortoise bots from the late 1940s. Simple designs that accomplish complex tasks are very admirable. Great work and good luck. Let us know how your robot does in competition.

Very nice robot you bilt there! Looks like a UFO! I have built a similar robot (Borg Cube) with Legos some time back at the inspiration of the Reaktor II robot by Steve Hassenplug that won a Lego Sumo event and beat the crap out of all microcontroller based robots. Mine was for a MiniSumo event and did well but wasn't fast enough to win the competition.

haha cool.  Lol and here I was thinking it was an original idea :P 

There's probably some issues here - but this is good thinking IMO :)