the 3rd annual robotic contest in Slovakia
On the 23rd of April contestants in stopař (line following), bludiště
(micromouse) and volná jízda (free, unrestricted) categories met in
Bratislava, Slovakia. The task of the line follower was to follow a black line
on a white background and to cope with several traps (line discontinuation,
tunnel, brick) along the way. The competing mice were required to find the
fastest path through a maze of 16x16 squares 18cm each. The free category
covered what was left allowing virtually any robot to compete. So our two
robots we are building for the Eurobot 2003
Dana and Daisy competed here.
The contest took place in a really nice atmosphere, the one we are
already used to from other robotic competitions, mainly Eurobot and/or Cleaning.
Obviously the contestants were eager to win but that certainly didn't prevent them
from sharing theirs experiences and accomplishments in the robotic field.
Stopař (the tracker, line following)
There were 21 trackers registered for the contest. We do not know the actual
number of competing robots because many of them did not manage to finish their
robots in time.
Each tracker robot had three attempts to be the fastest one to complete the
whole track. Many of the robots were not able to complete the track at all
mostly due to the line discontinuation (this time in the curve) and the brick
in the way. When detecting an obstacle on the line the robots were supposed
to go around it and rejoin the line again. During the first round a strong
favorite from VUT Brno Brno University of
appeared. It had even improved its own time in the following
runs leading to the final victory. As many of the robots were not even able
to complete the whole track some may find pleasantly surprising the performace
of several Lego robots built by grade school children. One of them even won a
special prize of the jury.
- Robot 53
(Jakub Zigáček, Jan Vrbka a V. Kocichová —
- Wild Pig II (Milan Švingál, M. Karšay a P. Čižmáriková — SPŠE Bratislava)
(Vladimír Oravec, Branislav Bača, Dušan Bielik a spol. — TU Žilina)
Each cybermouse had 15 minutes to show what it can do. During this time the
robot could map the maze and/or try to get as fast as possible from the start
to the goal in the middle. The maze was built in a such way that the path to
the middle could be found by just following either right or left wall to lower
the bar even for less sophisticated robots without the ability to build a map
of the maze. The most frequent reason for not finding a way through the maze
was then not really functional hardware (mostly sensor problems).
This year's maze was ruled by
robots from Jopy Hečko
took the first two places followed by robot
from Martin Locker.
Volná jízda (the free ride)
And finally the most awaited category
where our robots competed.
The winner of this category was determined by the audience. The strength of the
applause for each robot was measured and the one with strongest applause was
expected to be declared the winner. However an unexpected event occured, the
strength of the applause was measured to be the same for two robots –
ours and a robot called
decision which one of them should get the first place was left to the jury.
Jeronimo was built by Juraj Ečery using motors salvaged from old tape
recorders, the gearing from old timepieces and alarm clocks and a case from
a record player constituted the base. The robot was commanded from a regular PC
notebook and was able to scoop a cup of water from one (precisely placed) bowl
to another one (precisely placed). The bowls had to be on exact positions because
the robot had no sensors (or associated inteligence) that could detect the
possible misalignment. The point of the rest of the robot was solely to attract
attention of the audience (“empty” square green head or catchy colored
flashing lights). Jeronimo was awarded by the first prize by the jury, leaving
and Daisy the second place. The third place got a
really interesting omnidrive robot
by Martin Nemec
from TU Košice which you can as many others find on the pictures scattered
around here (taken for you by Kamil Řezáč).
The first three places in each catagory were financialy rewarded – 3,
2 and 1 thousand of SKK (Slovakian Crown). The amount of money was carefully
balanced to motivate the contestants to do well in the contest but not to
introduce any unhealthy competitive environment. To ease the participation
for people from outside of Bratislava the organizers in cooperation the main
sponsor company Datalan
aranged for boarding
and lodging. Interested participants could even present their robots the following
day on the Cofax 2003
expo in Bratislava.
The whole event breathed by the joy of robots and robotics. The organizers
were pleased that the audience and the participants enjoyed their stay there
and vice versa. I think I'll speak for everybody when I say that we are all
eagerly looking forward for the next robotic event coming up in Bratislava by
our colleagues – The
(description in slovak only).