SourceBots 2018 reached its exciting climax this weekend as the teams from across the south coast gathered at the University of Southampton for the competition event. The two-day event saw their fully autonomous robots compete in forty matches to determine which would be crowned champion in this year’s game Pirate Islands.
The game required the robots to remove other robot’s tokens from their scoring zone and collect their own tokens from the opposing side of the 8×8m arena. As any of the four robots in the arena could move any token, this required the robots to detect which tokens were where and to react to changes. Full details can be found in the rules.
The matches were broken into two main sections. First was a league stage with matches spaced throughout the weekend and interspersed with “tinker time” which both allowed the teams to test and improve their robots as well as gauge the strengths of their opponents. The time between rounds proved invaluable to many of the teams and we saw the robots improve greatly over the course of the weekend.
Once the league was complete, the results from the league seeded a knockout stage. While every robot entered the knockouts, it all came down to the final match between Noo Noo from Collyer’s team SCC, Out Of The Blue from RGS Guildford, Brenda from Barton Peveril’s second team and the robot from team Bodgenhurst from Brockenhurst.
The final promised to be interesting as a variety of different approaches were taken by the participating robots. Out Of The Blue, Brenda and Bodgenhurst’s robot each attempted to capture tokens in their open front halves by driving up to tokens with their arms open, before closing them around the tokens.
Out Of The Blue extended this strategy by first driving through the tokens in their own zone with their arms closed, which pushed some of the undesirable tokens out of their zone before they collected their own tokens. This had given the robot a strong position after the league matches; by ranking second they went straight through to the semi-finals.
In the end however it was Noo Noo’s great use of its Mecanum wheels and long grabber arm to drive sideways through their own zone at the start of the match, sweeping the undesirable tokens out of the zone, which granted their victory.
|1st Place||Collyer’s — SCC|
|2nd Place||RGS Guildford — Out Of The Blue|
|3rd Place||Brockenhurst — Bodgenhurst|
|Most Ambitious||RGS Guildford — Out Of The Blue|
|Best Looking||Barton Peveril — Orion|
Further details of the points earned by each team are available on the competition event page.
This year’s knockout matches were streamed live on Facebook by SUSU TV who did an amazing job, which included setting up a small studio at the venue and interviewing some of the competitors.