2) Rough Terrain
Once at the disaster site, there will be rough terrain
that needs to be crossed; 80 feet of ever increasing
difficulties need to be traversed. There will be 10 8’ x 8’
It starts out easy with Astro Turf and flat pavers.
Next are angled ramps. It’s a flat surface with 15
degree up and down ramps.
The first potential tripping hazards follow; 2x4s and
4x4s will be bolted to the plywood base at random angles.
This is followed by slightly higher obstacles: bricks piled up
from 6” to 12” high. The next section has the bricks piled
up to 32”, but not as something to step over. The intention
is to walk on top of them, avoiding a potential fall into the
32” deep holes.
These bricks then get piled even higher, so the robots
are both climbing up while avoiding the now deeper holes.
After climbing back down, the bricks will no longer be
flat. Increasingly tricky placement of the bricks will
culminate in a field where every brick is strewn about at an
angle, with none of them flat. The final section will be
random objects such as rocks and metal up to 12” high.
To minimize any potential damage to robots that fall, they
will have a safety harness on a zip line.
3) Blocked Door
Now that the robot has made it to the disaster site, the
front door will be blocked by debris. Five and 10 pound
wooden beams and metal structures will be piled up like a
giant game of pick-up sticks.
4) Open Doors
There will be three doors. The first is a simple push-to-open door, followed by a pull-to-open door, and finally a
pull door with a weighted spring closure. Instead of
doorknobs which might be more difficult to grasp and
rotate, they will all be lever handles.
5) Climb Ladder
This will be an industrial metal ladder, tilted at 60
degrees and about 12 feet tall. The steps are 4” deep and
12” apart. This is the only other challenge that will have a
6) Break a Wall
There will be a few hand tools such as rotary saws and
drills lying nearby. The robots will need to identify the tool
it needs, pick it up, and use it to break through a wall. The
tools will all weigh 5 kg or less. Rather than actually
“breaking through,” there will be 4’ x 4’ panels with only a
painted circle that needs to be removed. There will be no
studs, just drywall.
7) Close Valves
The robots will need to locate and close a circular or
levered valve. They may be horizontal or vertical, and may
require one or both hands.
8) Fire Hose
The final task is to locate a fire hose mounted on a
wall, unspool it, carry the end 50 feet, and connect it to a
Can a small unfunded team working in a garage
compete against six track A teams (such as NASA), nine
track B teams (such as MIT and JPL), and 43 other self-funded teams? We believe the outcome of this “David vs.
Goliath” story is not yet cast in stone.
In future articles, we will be talking more about our
specific hurdles. We will also address the hardware and
software challenges of building a full-sized biped robot.
Follow our progress at http://teamwalklikeaman.com/.
60 SERVO 09.2013
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