**I placed first!! Some of the competition had ultrasonic sensors with low enough thresholds that they were still able to see my foam-covered robot, but the upward spinning defense wheels proved very effective. Later into the compeition I added white tape to my blue wedges, in an attempt to trigger the line sensors of my opponents.
This is my first programmed mini sumo. I've just finished the body, and my friend who has an Arduino will be doing the programming. I wanted to do something different with this robot, so I've implemented a few of my ideas that may give it an edge over the competition. First, the robot is symmetrical, there is no front or back. Considering that you are just as likely to have to start facing the opponent as facing away, I am surprised this is not more common. Second, both the pushing sides have a wheel that rotates upwards. These are intended to lift apposing robots up, helping to push them out of the ring. Because the National Robotics Challenge rules prevent robots from expanding, wedges that flip down are not that common. Most robots have vertical pushing surfaces that will press nicely onto the defense wheels in a head-to-head pushing situation. Finally, I’m trying to make my robot invisible to ultrasonic sensors. These sensors have a hard time registering soft materials, such as the foam that I’ve covered my robot with. This will not be effective against infrared sensors, but I may make a second “invisibility cloak” out of black felt for those situations.
For the full challenge description see http://www.nationalroboticschallenge.org/joomla/index.php/downloadshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2fEy1XlVIc