Robot Competition: Breaking through the Shell of Science

Gateway Tech students designed a winning robot that can crack eggs.

Robots and eggs aren’t usually a good match, but on Sat., April 16, a team from Gateway Technical College proved their mettle with metal.

About 110 students from various technical colleges competed in the fifth annual Wisconsin Technical College System Robotics Competition, hosted by Gateway Technical College at the Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation, 2320 Renaissance Blvd. Teams were given their assignment on Jan. 1st: Build a robot that could properly crack an egg under a time limit.

A team from Gateway won first place in the design documentation process and third place for overall performance. Taking first place with the fastest robot to was the team from Northwest Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. Fourteen teams from technical colleges in Central and Southeastern Wisconsin designed and built robots for the event.

The timed race involved pre-programming the robots to travel to a box containing an egg, pick up the egg, deliver it to a bowl sitting on top of a brick eight inches above the ground, and crack it without getting any shell inside the bowl. Robots then had to back away from the bowl without knocking it over.

Pat Hoppe, chairman of the Gateway Engineering Technology Division, said each team was given two tries to complete this task.

“It was so interesting to see the vast differences in how each robot located, picked up and cracked the egg. Each design was unique and it was fun to watch,” said Hoppe. 

There were three categories in which the contestants were judged – engineering design documentation, an engineering presentation of their design and the actual task performance. Hoppe said the categories were to ensure teams would be able to write and explain about their robot instead of just inventing it.

Chris C April 23, 2011 at 02:26 PM
Robots are cool! Great article. It would've been cool to hear more quotes from the competing students.


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