PacBot - A New RAS Committee

As you may already know, RAS has a new committee this semester: PacBot!

PacBot is a competitive committee that will participate in the PacBot competition hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Robotics Club at the end of April. The competition essentially is a physical version of Pac-Man, but with small robots (the full set of rules and other information are available here).

The Plan, so far:

At our last meeting, we discussed some rough game strategies, requirements for the robot, and laid out (in broad strokes) a rough plan for the various subsytems of the robot.

On the hardware side, we’re planning to prototype a barebones omni wheel robot within the next week to guage how feasible a holonomic PacBot robot would be.

For our electrical subsystem, the current focus is part selection; the sooner we can decide what parts our robot will use, the sooner we can begin designing the robot’s chassis.

Meanwhile, our software system’s current goal is to finalize the architecture of our software stack. This means deciding specifically what components the stack will be composed of, what each will be responsible for, and how said components will communicate. We’re still evaluating the design considerations that are involved (being able to accurately and easily test each component is an important one), but here’s what we have so far:

The, tentative, stack

Besides all that, we mostly spent the last week being in awe of Micromouse.

Come join us!

If designing a small robot or writing a game playing algorithm or writing systems software sounds interesting to you, come join PacBot! We’re just getting started.

You can find us at one of our meetings (Wednesdays, 7 to 9PM or Saturdays, 4 to 7PM; Room TBD) or you can talk to us on the #pacbot slack channel.

I’ll leave you with this:

Happy building!

Author: Rahul Butani