Thirteen teams of predator robots captured soup-can sized victims in the 22nd annual Undergraduate Design Competition Saturday afternoon at the Evanston campus of Northwestern University.
Sporting names such as Brobotics, Fratasaurus, and R2-NU, the student-designed machines were equipped with laser beams that would spot the prey, wrapped in shiny reflective tape.
The robots, comprised mainly of microprocessors, actuators, motors, gears, and electronic sensors, were a motley sight. So long as they occupied no more than one cubic foot of space, they qualified to participate, even if they consisted of more than one separate machine.
The teams received points for each prey captured in two-minute periods, plus additional points if they successfully brought the prey “home.”
Close to 100 persons, including team members, their friends, families, and spectators who just like to see robots at war, gathered around a rectangular table to watch the action and cheer on the robots.
At the end of the afternoon, cash prizes were awarded to the top three teams.