Robot racing: welcome to the 'Robstacle Course'
Robot racing: welcome to the 'Robstacle Course'
2:42

Robot racing: welcome to the 'Robstacle Course'

Culture
[NOISE] It's kind of like Double Dare, but with robots, welcome to the Caltech Robstacle Course. Five teams composed of Caltech mechanical engineering students competed in this annual tradition where robots go head to head in a series of challenges, this year's theme? An obstacle course. Every year, with this Course, we've come up with a completely different set of task. It's a completely different game. The teams learn what robots have to be able to do at the beginning of the year and then, spent months prototyping and refining their final designs. We got like basic ideas for the Designs about 20 weeks ago when this class started. We've actually been changing the designs quite a bit through out this entire 20 weeks. Though we had everything finalized about a couple of weeks ago, honestly. We built everything and have been testing solidly for about a week, maybe a bit less. The finished project isn't just a reflection of the student's knowledge, it's also an important team building experience. When teams meet Team has to begin to form storm as they constructively confront each other through what ideas are going to be the ones that they actually go forward with. Then they begin to norm and that's when the vectors are not perfectly aligned but becoming a lot more aligned. And ultimately they perform if they've gone through those four phases of teamwork. This year's course required teams to build three robots designed to complete a kind of relay race. The first uses self-driving technology to autonomously navigate a field of pylons and pass a baseball over to the next robot. The second robot speeds up a see-saw and down the other side, and then over a second stationary ramp where the third robot waits for the ball hand off. After the third Third row back gets the baton. It uses magnets to release bolts on a gate, drive through it and then deposit the ball into the goal. Each team tackled the course multiple times repairing and tweaking their robots between runs. The path over there is pretty bumpy, so as we drive over it The robots vibrate a lot and so all the screws come loose. Before our last two matches, I secured all the wires as well to make sure that that wouldn't happen again, and then we had smooth sailings from then. Even though Team Vista took the championship, the process itself aims to teach each team member valuable life Skills they can put into action no matter what they choose to do after graduation. That's what you wanna hire. You wanna hire people that when the stress is high, when the pressure is on, those are the cool heads in the room. I always tell them that this is your last big reliability test. [SOUND] [MUSIC] [APPLAUSE]

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