Annual engineering physics robot competition "RecycleBot" held on August 6

August 28, 2020
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Winners of the ENPH253 Robot Competition!

(via the Engineering Physics program) The annual Engineering Physics Robot Competition, part of the Engineering Physics program's Introduction to Instrument Design course (ENPH 253), was held on August 6. Initiated by the program director Andre Marziali around 20 years ago, the course has a strong focus on hands-on experience, and was one of the first lab courses to occur away from the UBC campus since COVID-19.

The competition was normally open to the public. This year, while no public event was hosted, students were able to build and test robots using competition tracks that they set up at home. The theme for the robots this year was "RecycleBot." 

Congratulations to the winners of the ENPH 253 Robot Competition 2020: Lewis Arnold, Mykai Bakker-Westeinde, Nick Bratvold and Holden Jones. Well done!

Below, Nick Bratvold explains how the competition worked.

“Our competition was run similar to the World Cup. There was a round-robin stage consisting of 16 teams of 4, split into 4 pools. Each team played two matches in the round-robin and the top 2 teams from each pool advanced into quarter-finals and then semifinals and finals. The difference this year was that each team member built their own version of their team’s design. In each match two teams battled head to head with the robots attempting to collect  6 randomly placed cans and place them in a recycling bin within a minute. The score for the match was determined by the average points scored by each team.

Scoring for one robot is as follows:

1 point will be awarded for every soda can returned to the bin within 1 minute. 2 extra points are awarded if at least two cans are starting in different orientations (one upright, one lying down) are returned to the bin within the minute. One extra point overall is awarded if the bin walls are 8” or higher and at least one can is collected. Cans only score points if they are fully in the bin as determined by the judges, and would stay so even if the robot was moved away from the bin. There was a separate competition where each team had to do an entertainment portion with their robot that was scored from 1-10 by our class.

The finals were extremely close. We won 7.75 to 7.5. Our team had actually collected fewer cans than the second-place team but we had an 8” recycling box which gave us an additional point.”

You can view the full competition, and competition highlights, on YouTube. Two other student groups also put together their own videos. More videos relating to ENPH 253 are available on the course's YouTube channel.  

Congratulations to everyone in ENPH 253 for the outstanding achievements!


Full competition video (4 hours)

Competition highlights (8 minutes)

Robot Summer 2020 via Pythagoras Probably

[ENPH 480] Robot Summer | End Station 3 | RecycleBots via Alice Xiong