IGVC

IGVC has begun meeting during the Fall 2016 semester. As a summary, IGVC is a robotics competition where various universities across the United States compete. The goal of the competition is to create a robot that can move autonomously across an open field while avoiding obstacles and staying within path boundaries. The robot accomplishes these tasks through the use of GPS navigation, visual processing, and movement control. UT RAS has been working on this year’s IGVC entry for a few years. We have a small yet dedicated team working on the various modules required for competition. Right now we are developing and testing the visual processing systems to differentiate between path boundaries and the path itself. In addition to the components necessary for competition, we are modifying the manual control scheme for driving the robot so that it is more user-friendly and can be driven at various events. We will continue our work and will be competing in this year’s competition in Rochester, Michigan. If you are a UT student interested in joining the committee, we welcome all newcomers and will help them learn the skills required. We hope to begin testing the entire robot by February of 2017.

Robotathon 2016

Robotathon is a UT-hosted robotics competition targeted towards incoming freshmen, transfer students, and anyone else interested in learning about robots. This year will be RAS’ biggest Robotathon event ever with over 150 participants! We have decided to go all out and make the competition Pokemon-themed, where 2 robots face off to gather Pokeballs and capture Pokemon, scoring as many points as possible within the time limit.

IGVC

The IGVC Committee has decided to defer entering the 2016 IGVC Competition in June in order to focus on preparing new members. While the robot has many of its features ready for competition, training new members with the necessary skills to continue participating in the competition in the future is our current objective. As some of the current members and advising students graduate before the 2017 competition, preparing team members who will participate in the competition for future years is vital to keeping RAS active and competitive for this competition. Graduating members are still helping with the committee through passing on their experience and knowledge of the systems necessary, knowing that their efforts will be rewarded when the robot enters competition.

Demobot

The Demobot Committee undertakes projects to maintain and refurbish existing robots as well as design and build new ones. This semester the Demobot Committee is focusing on four projects, the restoration of the 2015 Mercury Robotics Competition entry named “Nessie,” the restoration of “Robocouch”, a self-balancing single axle robot, and an arcade style crane machine. The self balancing robot and crane machine, both to be named, are being developed by two groups headed by 1st year ECE students.

Mercury

The Mercury Remote Robot Challenge is an international, interscholastic robotics competition put on each year by Oklahoma State University, located in Stillwater,Oklahoma.The challenge in essence is to design and build a robot capable of completing a remote mission where the operator of the robot must be located at least 50 miles from the robot.A few of the challenges in this year’s mission include maneuvering a serpentine path,picking up a bean bag payload,balancing across a seesaw, and launching the beanbag at a target. This year’s competition also coincides with the transit of Mercury between the sun and the earth - an event that happens only 14 times a century!

Robotathon Recap!

This year’s Robotathon wrapped up this past November with amazing showings from all of our teams. This years challenge was RASBall, a competition requiring your robot to sort ping-pong balls and marbles into two separate goals. The rules for the competition can be found here. We had an amazing turn out this year with over 100 students, in 17 teams, participating in the competition. Most of the participants were freshman college students and most had little prior robotics experience.

IGVC

The Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, or IGVC for short, is a competition that UT Austin and various other universities across the United States partake in during June. The goal of the competition is to create a robot that can autonomously navigate across a field, approximately the size of a soccer field, while staying within a marked course and avoiding obstacles, such as barrels or traffic cones. This competition is done to show the capabilities of robots to navigate unknown or dangerous terrain while carrying a payload, such as in a military environment or in a contaminated building.

Primavera

Primavera is the image processing component of the painting robot project RAS in involved in, called Robotticelli. Several of us have been working on primavera for about a month now, and it’s starting to approach something useful. We’ll take you through our process, but first a quick introduction to Robotticelli.

Robotathon kick-off!

Robotathon is officially in session! This year’s competition is called RASBall! Check out this link for the full rules. RASBall is essentially soccer, with many balls and several robots. We have 17 teams competing, for a total of 102 RASlets and several more on the waitlist. We’re aiming for zero deaths by robot this season.

Year in Review

The University of Texas at Austin chapter of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society serves a diverse community of students consisting primarily of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science majors. Our students are enthusiastically driven to incorporate and apply their classroom knowledge in real world settings. Our purpose is to educate and promote STEM in the rapidly growing fields of robotics and automation. We do so by providing opportunities for students to pursue their own personal projects, as well as providing opportunities for them to compete in robotics competitions on local, national, and international levels.

New blog!

Welcome to the new RAS blog! We’re publishing this blog via jekyll. Look forward to many posts about the competitions we participate in, news about our organization, and updates about our various projects.