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Robotathon Steering Committee - How It's Made

Matthew again, here’s the second of three posts.

In this post, I’ll break down the budget into sections and talk about what is needed in each section.

Alright, let’s go! The main feature of this blog post is this pie chart below:

Cost Breakdown by Category

I’ll only be working with magnitudes and percents here, since I’m restricted from releasing specific numbers.


The largest category is the parts order. The allocated budget for this section was calculated from three primary factors:

We don’t expect to spend the whole budget allocated for parts, as we’re looking to optimize cutting costs by redesigning requirements or thinking of alternative part solutions, but it’s always good to have a ceiling to make sure we know where we are.


The second largest category is food. Self explanatory, right? Last year, we had an absolutely massive budget for food compared to this year (that we obviously didn’t use completely), so I and Burak toned it down a bit.

There are a couple times during Robotathon that we want to utilise this part of the budget:


This is a decent chunk of investment, and something that needs to be done fairly early in the game to get teams invested and testing their robots before competition. Last fall we had issues getting the field ready weeks after kickoff because we finished the design so late.

The investment into several parts:

There are other costs, allocated for the Spring semester for field building. They aren’t reflected in the budget for this semester.

Posters and Advertising

This next category is important because typically, students outside of Engineering aren’t very aware that we exist (it’s gotten better recently, with our Couchbot running down Speedway for Party on the Plaza). With good advertising, we can attract as many people from different majors as possible who are interested in Robotathon and want to contribute to RAS after the competition ends.

Allocations for this include printing flyers and posters. Specifically we’re looking at 2 full length posters, 1 for Kickoff and 1 for Competition day, to be displayed in the EER. Flyers can be distributed by tabling, and we can ask various departments for permission to post flyers in their spaces.

A couple of things aren’t represented in the allocated budget here, such as:

Certificates and Trophies

We’re looking at laser cutting acrylic and wood for the trophies this year. We have a couple of interesting ideas we’re currently looking at, although final designs won’t be approved and mass produced until after Kickoff. Since they use broken TM4Cs as the centerpiece, the cost mainly lies in the wood, acrylic, glue, and spray paint.

For certificates, we have several categories of awards, so there may be a substantial increase in awards needed this Robotathon.

An important factor the cost of these awards depends on is how many people are interested in Robotathon and sign up for the competition. The amount of people in each team also is an important factor (4 trophies for 1st place versus 6).

If you have any questions or comments, please message me at matthewjkyu@gmail.com.

Author: Matthew Yu