RoboGames 2011 – Line Follower Robots – Better Traction


One of the original intentions behind the formation of RoboGames was David Calkins' strong belief that if robot builders and fans from all different markets and technologies got together then a lot of cross-pollination and idea exchange would naturally take place.

For example, this afternoon when I was talking robotics with Markus Primbs of, he mentioned that he uses "tire condoms" to make his line follower robots more efficient.

That immediately drew my attention, and I asked him to explain in more detail. Hence the video clip above.

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All Japan Robotracer Robot Competition 2010 (Video)

Speed, precision, control, and memory size turned out to be the key parameters for the 2010 All Japan Robotracer robot competition. The first three parameters weren't a big surprise. The competition rewards designs that push the limits of speed while being able to maneuver the course without error or the slightest drift. The fourth parameter, memory size, was a surprise to many competitors however. This year's Robotracer robot final course included so many features that several of the competitors ran out of feature memory before they could safely complete their runs.

Here's what one of the successful competitors looked like:

Unlike the Micromouse robot competitions, the Robotracer rules specifically disallow the use of any suction mechanism, like venturi fans, that would increase ground contact force and traction.

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Very Fast Line-Follower Robot From Turkey With PID (Video)

Since I lived outside the United States for over 20 years now, I really shouldn't be very surprised that robotics, especially robotics education and research, is truly international. It's not that unusual to see high performance robots on display from leading institutions in Japan, the United States, the UK, Germany, and France. But, there's also a tremendous amount of interesting work being done in other locations around the globe. And, robot competitions are being staged in the hundreds of countries over the world.

For example, Mert Öztoprak at Ankara University, Electronics Engineering, just send in this video featuring a very fast line follower robot with PID that he is preparing for some upcoming 2011 competitions:

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World Record Line Follower Robot Attempt (Video)

World record attempt

Nothing excites kids of all ages more than robots, and when you couple that with the chance to set a new world record, and maybe get into the Guinness Book of World Records, there is bound to be a tremendous turn-out.

Last Saturday, the Kansas City Robotics Society (KCRS) and Science City turned Union Station into what they believe could be the worlds largest line follower robot course. Volunteers marked out a 400+ foot course using 1 inch wide tape. They also tested each robots speed so that they could be arranged on the course at the start with the fastest robots leading, to avoid any unexpected collisions.


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Robot Sightings: Dr. Robot tutorial, Sugiura is an Indian God, Jonas and the Stupid Robot, and more…

What's going on today in my crazy robot world?

  • 20:16 Tsukumo Robot Kingdom is open for business again after a breif shutdown.
  • 20:31 Indian robot builders join ROBO-ONE 14 & learn from Sugiura-san (Dynamizer): They call him "legendary" & "GOD".
  • 20:37 Dr. Robot teaches us how to build a sumo robot from hell: Definitely got to buy him a new shirt.
  • 20:59 We love Star Wars, but isn't making R2D2 into a toilet paper holder going too far?
  • 21:10 With only 256 MB this robot USB memory stick is impractical. So, why do I want one?
  • 21:22 Jonas challenges the BakaRobo (Stupid Robot) contest, and gets slapped in the process.
  • 21:29 Basquash! Yet another robot movie I'll be putting on my "must-see" list.
  • 21:45 ATR is mapping human brain patterns into visual images:
  • 21:48 Sangatsu Usagi's great report on the 29th Micromouse Competition:
  • 23:37 With auto companies in trouble, and Honda dropping F-1, will other research, like Honda's robot legs, survive?
  • 08:51 John published a good, though troubling, study on robot hobby trends ( Let's hope it's only temporary.
  • 09:05 The Vex robot system has taken off like wildfire ( What makes it so popular with schools?
  • 09:15 For robot fans that don't want to build from scratch, PicONE released a cool micromouse robot kit.
  • 10:20 Thanks to a reminder from Martin, here's one of the best robot resources around even if it doesn't have a RD link.
  • 10:25 Robert's next RoboDance version will be out next Spring and will even control the kitchen sink!
  • 12:12 The Kyosho MANOI robots aren't drawing much attention overseas, but here in Japan they are still hot stuff!
  • 12:26 RT Corp has an under-1 kg. humanoid robot competition scheduled for January 18th starting at 2:00 pm.
  • 12:49 140 year old head for a smoking robot automaton ( Pretty spooky - looks very "Stephen King" style.
  • 13:20 Daniel Ruben Rojas sent us a video of this blazingly fast line-follower robot: running at 80%
Robotically posted for Lem by LoudTwitter

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