It's Robocon 2011 and this year the international event takes place at MIT. If you are a fan of the MIT hack history, you will love this event. Years ago, I remember watching the 11pm local Boston news report on TV, only to see a police car on the top of the MIT Dome. Or is my most memorable moment seeing the Cal Tech cannon appear on this Cambridge campus. From these historic hacks, the rules for the 2011 Robocon game were created by talented professor Dan Frey and his students.
In these two weeks, engineering students from 4 continents, 9 countries, will be mixed up, then divided up into teams to design, build, test and compete with their robot. The robot will be part of the MIT hack history competing for points in a complex mathematical equation that involves the volume of a balloon, the position of your police car, the number of superballs your robot dumps into Killian court, and the position of the Caltech cannon. The cannon is the multiplier in the formula. I used to teach Calculus and this formula was pretty complex – but all the students seem to get what the robot has to do to achieve the game objectives.
This is week one of Robocon 2011 and I have to thank my colleagues Christian, Ryan and Greg for holding training classes for all the engineering students on Tuesday and helping them out on the manufacturing and design floors on Wednesday. The students work well into the nights in this organized chaos. I can't wait for the finals next week. Marie