Among all the subjects in the University of Tartu, to which a typical technically-minded student can be exposed to, the “Robotex course” (or “Robotics practice”, as it is formally called) might easily be the most demanding and the most exciting one. The aim of the course is to make a team and build a robot to compete in the upcoming Robotex competition. The theme of the competition varies from year to year, although for the last several years it has been fixed to “soccer”. The robot has to shoot as many balls from the field to the opponent robot’s goal.
The course starts in September, the competition is at the end of November, and most participants typically come having no clue about robotics whatsoever. As a result, the overall learning curve is enormously steep, the amount of work required from each team member is an order of magnitude greater than in any regular university course, and the value of teamwork is paramount. The final weeks before the contest hold a promise of numerous sleepless nights, they say.
This blog belongs to one of such teams – team codenamed “Telliskivi” (“The Brick”, in Estonian, which is supposed to highlight the simplicity of the original robot design). There are four of us here:
- Andreas, a first year Computer Engineering student,
- Konstantin, a PhD student in Computer Science,
- Reiko, a master’s student in Computer Engineering,
- and Taavi, a master’s student in Machine Engineering
We hope that our fine mix of expertise in various fields will help us make a great robot for the upcoming competition.
In the following posts we’ll gradually tell you about our progress, the problems we have on the way and the solutions we come up with. Stay tuned, feel free to comment.