VIDEO: Making it Work at Design Competition

21st Annual Design Competition

What do you do if you spend months working on a robot, only to find out the day of the competition that it doesn’t work?

That’s what happened to Design Competition team “better than disCasa.” Thanks to some quick thinking, they still participated against nine other teams at the 21st annual event on Saturday, May 19 at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center.

Each team spent months designing, building and programming their robots to operate autonomously. The robots are made up of various parts, including microprocessors, actuators, motors, gears, and electronic sensors. Remote controls are not permitted, though teams may reprogram robots as often as desired.

This year the robots competed two at a time in a large rectangular arena, with each trying to collect foam cubes, or “crates,” that had been placed strategically throughout the space. The robots were tasked with placing the crates into their team’s scoring zone, an 18-inch square platform that — to make matters more challenging — slid back and forth throughout the match.

Robots scored points in three ways: by depositing the crates on their opponents’ side; by pushing the crates into their own scoring zone; and by lifting and shooting a crate into their own bonus zone. Any crates left on their side of the arena but not in the scoring zone counted against the team at the end of the match.

How did “better than disCasa” do in the competition? Watch the video to find out.