Live from RoboCup 2009 Day 5

This week Richard Allen, Physicist, NIST, will be live blogging from RoboCup 2009 covering the MEMS-scale robot league.

July 4, 2009, Entry 2:

And some results from today’s activities, in particular the Ball Handling Drill (ETH) and theTwo Millimeter Dash (USNA).

ETH was unable to accomplish the Ball Handling Drill, so that event will have to be called a draw.  Thus the outcome of the 2009 RoboCup Nanogram Demonstration is victory to ETH, with wins in the Two Millimeter Dash and the Slalom Course and a draw in the Ball Handling Drill.

We were all pleased that the USNA team succeeded in getting one of their robots to move.  However, the one that moved appears to be stuck to the surface and is only capable of moving in a spiral.

An accomplishment to celebrate! Although this isn’t as impressive as the performance of the ETH team, the undergraduates of the USNA have nothing to be embarrassed about.  Their work has been seen by thousands of visitors to the hall.

As I write these remarks, Bryan and Ashley have resumed their interrupted honeymoon and Professor Firebaugh is packing with the plan of catching an early plane from Graz.  Tomorrow morning we will pack our boxes and deliver them to the shipping department here at the Stadthalle.  After that some of our group will head towards Vienna to spend part of the day there; others of us will remain here for the awards ceremony at 5:00 p.m., where we will recognize the victorious ETH team.  We will all meet in Vienna tomorrow to catch the 10 hour flight back to Washington, D.C.

This demonstration has shown the potential and challenge of this very difficult application of MEMS.  I may post a follow-up from home with any thoughts.  I hope you will make some comments and suggestions for us as we consider where to go from here.  All the best from Graz.

July 4, 2009, Entry 1:

Today is scheduled the Ball Handling Drill.

Last night the ETH team stay late at the venue to try and solve a serious problem with this event:  their robots cannot distinguish the ball from the surface and simply float over the surface.  This is quite a change from the problem of 2007 of the Robots being likely to stick when they stopped moving.

We also today hope that the USNA team is able to perform the Two Millimeter Dash.  They have set their robots on a field and are attempting to purge all humidity from the playing arena by pumping dry nitrogen through the box and shining the microscope light on the system.

Image 9.1

I’ll report later on the results.

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