FIGURE 5. Line
FIGURE 6. Line following
FIGURE 7. Lief Tvenstrup
watching his line following
bot Ascahil while Bill
Bechtel looks on.
38 SERVO 06.2012
driving Baby V (Figure 3) took
control in the second round going 2-
0 and taking first place. Platypus
(Figure 4) was my first attempt at
using a Pololu Baby Orangutan
controller as a speed controller and
the new red “Cobra” mini Sumo
tires from Fingertech Robotics.
Overall, the bot ran well but could
only manage a third place finish.
Line following was a new event
at this year’s competition and drew
an impressive group of six robots
designed around LEGO NXT, Pololu,
PICAXE, Parallax, and BotBrain
products. My stock Pololu 3Pi bot
(Figure 5) smoked the closed-loop
track, completing two laps in less
than 16 seconds — almost twice as
fast as the nearest competitor.
Krishna Iyer’s bot Xecotcovach
(Figure 6) used a collection of
Pololu products, including an
Orangutan robot controller, sensor
array, motors, and wheels.
Xecotcovach was impressive, but
repeatedly overshot the corners
resulting in a second place finish.
Competitor Lief Tvenstrup watched
his LEGO NXT bot Ascahil navigate
the track while scorer Bill Bechtel
looked on (Figure 7). Bechtel’s
BotBrain creation Twitchy (Figure 8)
took third place.
The Antweight competition got
off to a fast start when Kyle
Singer’s spinner bot Szalor (Figure
9) connected with Glen Warner’s
Nuggenator, stopping Nuggenator
dead in its tracks and forcing him to
tap out. In second round action, my
latest Ant creation Adobe (Figure
10) drew Szalor. It was a classic
example of an equal but opposite
reaction when Szalor’s spinner
ripped into Adobe’s armor, and in
the process propelled itself into the
pit. Szalor’s day would end in the
loser’s bracket when Richard Kelley’s
bot Little Box gave him a ride to the
pit (Figure 11).
FIGURE 10. Antweight bot
Adobe (it's a brick).
FIGURE 11. The Box giving Szalor a
ride to the pit.