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Robotics Technology

Using Mech Combat To Hone Engineering Skills 59

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-practicing-for-defeating-skynet dept.
jjp9999 writes "Mech Warfare is a mix between Battlebots and MechWarrior, only without the fanfare. The teams around the competitions include engineers and professionals in robotics, and the games are — aside from being an homage to their love for science fiction — a way to hone their skills in the field. Andrew Alter, roboticist and one of the mech pilots, said the competitions are taken as 'an engineering challenge,' noting that while they do compete, 'Having this mix of skill levels and demographics is really great to see, as information and ideas tend to flow freely. We're also solving practical real-world problems like being able to stream video over Wi-Fi in high-interference areas. It's not nearly as easy as one might think.'"
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Using Mech Combat To Hone Engineering Skills

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @08:17PM (#39421353)

    My initial reaction was "Why the hell are they all using legs instead of treads?"

    Then I checked their rules [mech-warfare.com].

    Mechs are to be true walking robots. Legs must be servo/actuator driven. No cam-driven, wheeled, or treaded configurations (except in the beginner league).
            Mechs may have up to 4 legs (Unlimited in the beginner league).

    So that explained to me why they were using such ungainly configurations.

    Some of the other rules on the mechs were about height, limitations as to leaving parts behind to hinder/causing damage to the arena (which I think would be pretty cool a function to build in honestly), and most interesting to me, control. The gist of it is that robots can either be autonomous OR controlled remotely. The kicker? Remote control can only be done if you have a wireless camera mounted in the "cockpit" area to control it. Which is pretty friggin awesome in my opinion.

    To someone's talk about jammers...

    In all weapons classes, weapons designed to interfere in any way with an opponent's camera or wireless control are strictly forbidden.

    And of course the rules on weapons, what the arena will be like, the rules, etc.

    Also, given that the only restriction for mechs is height with no weight restriction yet, what's forbidding them from making a land dreadnought style 4 legged monstrosity which is below height limit, has automated weapon systems (bypassing the cockpit camera restriction), and can fire in any and all directions at once upon detecting movement? Other than, y'know, sportsmanship.

    And fuck you slashdot for making my captcha "virgins".

  • Kickstarter (Score:5, Informative)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @09:22PM (#39421983)
    TFA mentions that they have a Kickstarter project going to build a new arena (made out of tougher materials so they can allow higher-powered weapons while still keeping spectators safe), if anyone wants to kick in a few bucks. Linky. [kickstarter.com]

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