2.007 Competition Robot
MIT, Spring 2007

Class: Design and Manufacturing I
Team Size: Individual
Duration: 2 months
Project: Design a user-driven robot to compete in MIT's yearly robot competition.

One of MIT's most famous classes is a robot design class which culminates in an two-day head-to-head competition. Robots are constructed from a kit of stock parts. The game board in 2007 required robots to collect street hockey balls from two enclosed bins (marked "2" and "7" in the photo below) and deliver them to scoring bins (marked "0" below). A competitor's score could be multiplied by hoisting a hard-to-reach arrow.

The main component of my robot was a lifting arm made of two four-bar linkages with a collector bucket at the end. This double linkage design allowed for the up and down motion required to collect balls and move them into scoring bins, as well as the rotating motion needed to move the collector bin between a "collecting" position and a "dumping" position. These linkages were also designed to create enough vertical height to raise the arrow with the edge of the collector bin. The robot also has a simple hinged bulldozer, used for pushing a stack of hockey pucks into a scoring bin.

The completed robot.

Side views demonstrate how the double linkage system can reach all desired locations on the game board.