Robots Sumo Wrestle in Engineering Class
Photo by Doug Ramsay, Everett Tribune
In the sumo ring, the final contest pitted speed against strength.
Twenty-two Everett Community College Engineering 104 students circled the ring watching and cheering as I3's quick maneuvers battled Cobra's three powerful engines.
The contest was the culmination of a three-week team project to build and program a 2-pound robot from Legos with a battery-powered motor. Each robot has to find its opponent with ultrasonic proximity sensors and try to push it out of the ring. After pushing the start button, no remote controls are used – the robot is on its own until the round ends.
The challenge and the class are designed to teach innovative design and teamwork, explained EvCC engineering instructor Eric Davishahl.
"All engineering professional work is done in teams," Davishahl said. "Learning how to work as a team is an essential skill, one that employers say more engineers need to know."
Davishahl watched as the robot nicknamed I3 (Intuitive Innovations, Inc.) took round one of the final match by swiftly shoving the Cobra bot out of the ring with its metal wedge. Cobra came back in round two, powering I3 out of the ring in seconds.
But I3 came back to win as its creators, students Austin Blake, Ryan Martin, Miguel Moreno and Beau Baker cheered. All plan to become engineers.
"I learned a lot about how a group of engineers can come together and take an idea from a piece of paper to a machine," said Baker, who plans to earn a degree in electrical engineering.
For more information about EvCC's engineering program, visit www.everettcc.edu/engineering or contact instructor Eric Davishahl at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-388-9246.