Lawrence Technological University
College of Arts and Science
Department of Mathematics and Computer Sciences


Coaches' Corner for Robofest 2006

This is an area where I will pass along tips for preparing for the Robofest 2006 competition. The ideas, problems and solutions presented here are things I learned while working with other coaches. Your contributions or questions are always welcome.

I will try not to duplicate topics covered in A few tips for new coaches about Robofest 2005.

  1. After a robot finds a pop bottle, it has to push the bottle off the edge of the playing surface. If the robot is watching a touch sensor attached to the bumper used to push the bottle, there may be a problem maintaining consistent contact with the somewhat bouncy bottles. If, when the robot's bumper loses contact with the bottle, the robot rechecks about a half second later; then, the robot can be reasonably sure the bottle is gone. In NQC
    int sure = false;
    until (sure == true) { // Keep on pushing until sure the bottle is gone.
      if (TOUCH == 0) {    // Sure if gone twice in a row with a half second
        Wait(50);          // between checks.
        if (TOUCH == 0) sure = true;
    // bottle is gone now.  So, continue with the next part of the mission.
  2. These three pictures show a hardware solution to de-bouncing the pop bottle touch sensor. In this case the touch sensor button is not depressed by pushing with a lever, but by sliding an arm over the button from the side, which keeps it depressed as long as the bottle is somewhere nearby. The elastic band should be twisted to get the desired tension, and held in place by 2 of the small circular white plates that fit on top of an axle stub. The plates were removed for these pictures.


    Side View

    Top Close Up

Revised February 12, 2006