About: This contest has two major themes. The first is to pick up an empty soda can, and while following the lit course directions, to place the can in the Recycle Area. The second is (either on the way to the Recycle Area or after) clean the streets of golf balls (trash) and dispose of them in the garbage shoot. During both of these tasks the robot must avoid the large orange obstacle that will be placed at random locations.

Strategy:Our approach was to design a creative robot with repeatable processes - achieved by robust algorithms, hierarchical code, and a revolutionary ball-gathering method. Each algorithm, be it ball-scooping, coke-can grabbing, coke-can dropping, obstacle avoidance, etc. was designed to be variable to the randomness of the course, and thus repeatable. All processes were separated into functions so that a high-level algorithm could logically switch between operations. A single gripper was used to grab the can and retrieve golf balls. The golf balls were set into a ramp on the rear of the robot, which had a door at the back.

Goal:Our intent of our project was not to achieve the fastest time, but to traverse the course slowly and carefully to ensure that the robot completed the course objectives. It is the teamís hope that the new gripper, the new method of ball-storage, and the organized code will open up new doors to future mechatronics groups.