Robot Arena 2011

This past Saturday we took a trip to an annual robotic event held at Wrocław’s University of Technology called Robot Arena. There, students from universities world wide showed off their best robots and fought their way through ounces of steel to claim the top prize.

I write ‘ounces’ deliberately as some of these things were beyond small, they were tiny. The tournament was divided into several classes: freestyle where one could let creativity run wild and build a freaken monster of a bot, line follower: where the sole purpose of your cart-based bot is to autonomously follow a black line and get from start to finish in the fastest time possible, and sumo: where your battled other bots and pushed them off of the ring without crossing the line yourself, also autonomously.

The sumo category itself was divided into sub categories based on size and weight of the bot. The smallest of which was about an inch by inch in size! I think that’s the one that won simply cause it was the only one in its class… We had an inside man at this tournament, and a woman in fact. Karolina’s cousin Adrian Dobosz and his fiance, also Karolina, are on the Opole Technical University’s team and have been battling bots for some time now. They managed to win one of the sub-sumo categories and get a second place in another…but I forget which ones. Here are their robots.

The freestyle category was pretty cool and four finalists were chosen from many presented that day. During the show’s finale, the final four were given a couple of minutes each to present to the audience their bots’ skills and capabilities. Then we, the audience, were asked to vote. X-Walker was the coolest of them all and sure enough it won by a huge margin.

The event was hosted by a wanna be funny comedy couple from a local comedy club and they kept us entertained for the most part. It was obvious they had no idea about the subject matter of the event, the same could go for me I suppose, but the 2.5 hours we spent there went by very fast with laughter and impressive laser shows. The photos and the film below are mostly shots of the projected image as I was sitting too far from all the action. Nevertheless, hope you like the material.

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