Today, we demystify the process of making a robot that you can use to participate in a robotic sumo event -- a sumo-bot. The purpose of a sumo-bot competition? To be the first to push an oponent from a raised platform. (No swinging blades or flame throwers required.) Get details on design and construction planning. (From the book, Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo Using LEGO MINDSTORMS, by David Perdue, Apress, 2004, ISBN: 1590593758.)
You may have seen fighting robots on TV shows, and your head may be filled with images of mechanical monsters equipped with spinning blades and flamethrowers. Amidst showers of sparks, screaming fans, and an energetic host who keeps shouting something, it’s obvious the show’s purpose is to impress you with “deadly robot warriors.” Indeed, the robot’s goal usually appears to be to tear the opposing robot to shreds. So, these robots are monstrous, lethal, ferocious machines whose sole purpose in life is to destroy, right? Wrong.
In robotic contests, sometimes the two adversaries are trying to win points by accomplishing various goals; other times, they are trying to shove each other into a hole in the ground; and on some occasions, they are placed on a raised platform, and their goal is to be the first to push their opponent off that platform. The latter scenario is what robotic sumo is all about.
In the literal sense, robotic sumo is played on a platform—called an arena—which is outlined with a thick line, and the goal is to push the other robot out of bounds. In the more abstract sense, robotic sumo is not a game about turning the opponent into junkyard material, but a game of strategy and skills.
This book will demystify the process of making a robot with which to participate in a robotic sumo event—a sumo-bot. But we’re not going to be looking at just any sumo-bots in this book; we’re going to be looking at LEGO MINDSTORMS sumo-bots. When the worlds of MINDSTORMS and robotic sumo collide, the result is more than amazing. By building and programming the sumo-bots described in this book, and understanding how their design and construction was planned, you will become a robotic sumo expert. This chapter will get you started by explaining the basic concepts of robotic sumo and sumo-bot construction.
This chapter is from Competitive MINDSTORMS: A Complete Guide to Robotic Sumo Using LEGO MINDSTORMS, by David Perdue (Apress, 2004, ISBN: 1590593758). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today. Buy this book now.
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