Wash U Micro Robotics Maze Project 2009

Competition Specifications
Research and Design
Building Instructions
Results and Future Involvement

The goal of our senior design project was to implement the skills we have acquired in our systems engineering education in the design and construction of several micro robots, and enter the robots in the 18th International Micro Robot Maze Competition, held in Nagoya, Japan. We learned of this competition in Dr. Tarn’s Robotics: Dynamics and Control class in the spring of 2009, and after speaking to the students from Washington University that attended the competition in 2008, decided it would be a great opportunity. We chose to enter robots in two categories of the competition: Category 0 (1 cm3 Micro Robot Racer) and Category 2a (1 in3 Autonomous Robot)

We spent the first month of our project doing research and coming up with the designs for our robots. After having trouble acquiring materials, we were forced to withdraw from the Category 2a competition, and focused our building efforts on the cubic centimeter robot. We experimented with two different body types for this robot, and came up with a control method. Finally, we traveled to Japan for the competition on November 8. In addition to the competition, we got to experience the Japanese culture as well as see the robotics research being done at Nagoya University. Although the project may not have come out the way we intended it to, it was a good experience. Despite numerous setbacks, we learned a lot about the design process and robotics.

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Erik Brinkman, Austin Jones, Kara Sikorski