Ten autonomous robots will attempt to outmaneuver each other to win at “Robot Wipeout” Saturday in Evanston as they and their student designers compete in the 25th annual Design Competition at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering.
This year, speed and agility are key as robots go head-to-head in an event that is a play on the TV game show “Wipeout.”
Free and open to the public, “Robot Wipeout” will start at noon at the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center, 2133 Sheridan Road, on the Evanston campus. Hundreds of spectators attend every year to cheer on the competitors.
During the one-on-one final competition Saturday, each robot will attempt to find a robot driven by its competitor and knock a cup off it, while dodging obstacles and trying not to fall off the side of the arena.
Teams of undergraduates from a variety of engineering fields have spent five months designing, building and programming their robots. Some teams are fielding classic robot designs with lasers and ultrasonic sensors; others are deploying Nerf darts and rubber-band shooters.
The event is expected to last three hours, concluding with an awards ceremony. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three teams, with first place receiving $1,000.
One team also will be honored with the annual Myke Minbiole Elegant Engineering Award, named for McCormick alumnus Minbiole, who worked as an engineer until being killed in a hit-and-run collision in 2007. The Minbiole family will present the $500 award.