Students apply engineering knowledge to robotic sumo wrestling

In January, 71 teams from Cao Thang Technical College (CTTC) competed in Robot Sumo 2017, sponsored by Han My Viet Automation Co., Ltd. Inspired by Japanese Sumo wrestling, this is the third year of Robot Sumo where students apply their engineering knowledge to solve real-world problems.

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More than 250 engineering students joined to watch and participate in Robot Sumo 2017. The ultimate goal was to push the opponent’s “Sumo wrestler” out of the ring without violating any of the rules. (Photo credit: Nguyễn Mậu Tuấn Vương)

More 250 engineering students formed teams consisting of two to four members to design and build robots. Robot Sumo, usually an all male competition, saw three female students register and participate this year. The robots had to conform to certain requirements of size, weight, control system, power supply and safety. Most of the teams built their own Android apps to control their robots. The ultimate goal was to push the opponent’s “Sumo wrestler” out of a 2.4 by 2.4 meter ring without violating any of the rules. In preparation, and to better support the teams, CTTC held classes with robot-related topics in advance of the competition.

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Judges and fellow competitors look on intensely as a student from CTTC prepares his robot named “Sumo Shine” for battle. (Photo credit: Nguyễn Mậu Tuấn Vương)

The qualifying round was held on December 16, 2016. The sixteen best teams advanced to the final round held on January 6, 2017 to compete and be judged by faculty from the mechatronics department at CTTC. HEEAP Vocational participant, Nguyen Mau Tuan Vuong from CTTC, served as a judge in the competition. “We wanted to provide our students with a way to have fun with engineering,” Vuong said. “With Robot Sumo they worked together and laughed and actually applied what they learned in the classroom by building a real robot.”

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A team of students from CTTC test their sumo robot with an application they created on their phone. (Photo credit: Nguyễn Mậu Tuấn Vương)

Overall, there were eight prizes for the winning teams: 2,000,000 VND for the champion, 1,500,000 VND for the runner-up, 1,000,000 VND for third place; 500,000 VND for fourth place; and four consolation prizes of 200,000 VND.

With the success of Robot Sumo 2017, CTTC plans to keep this as an annual competition to enhance student learning experiences.

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The winning teams of Robot Sumo 2017 show off their champion robots, trophies and prizes. (Photo credit: Nguyễn Mậu Tuấn Vương)