20 October 2016 - Computing Science and Computing Engineering students who are enrolled in this semester’s CS1101S Programming Methodology participated in the CS1101S Sumobot Contest last Wednesday evening.
Modelled after the traditional Japanese sport of sumo, the contest featured autonomous robots battling 1-on-1 to push their opponents out of the dohyo (or sumo ring), in successive rounds. Team ‘List of Programmers’, comprising first-year Computer Science undergraduates Chen Xiaoman, Chu Qinghao, Jiang Lingshuo and Wang Junming, emerged as the winner at the end of the 3-hour contest.
While the Sumobot Contest has been held for more than ten years, this year’s contest was the first to feature the upgraded Lego Mindstorms EV3 kits that allowed the robots to detect colours on the dohyo. Students were expected to apply what they had learnt in the module to the design of the robots’ software, such that their robots would be able to associate each colour with a particular level of danger of being ousted from the ring and take the necessary steps to remain in the ring. They also had to ensure that their robots’ hardware were conducive to both initiating attacking manoeuvres and repelling advances by other robots.
Speaking on behalf of the team, Junming said,” We built a gear cluster in the robot, ensuring that other robots would find it hard to push it. Our robot was also installed with ultrasonic sensors in the eyes, facilitating the detection of other robots.” He acknowledged that more preparation could have been made before the contest as the group’s robot had delayed reactions, rendering it more susceptible to attacks by other robots. Still, Junming was proud of the team’s achievement and believed that the contest was a timely reminder for him to transcend the confines of the classroom and apply what he had learnt to solve real-world problems.