Upcoming Events:

Demobots Semester Kick Off

This semester has certainly been an unusual one for Demobots. Despite its unorthodox structure this year with meetings taking place on Zoom and collaboration occurring primarily online, many exciting things are taking place in Demobots!

For starters:

There’s a new Demobot in town. RAS’s newest addition to the non-competitive robot teams is a claw machine. The goal of this project is not only to build and improve upon the mechanisms of a classic machine but also to eventually add on unique features such as a motion-controlled claw or a “bird’s eye view” mode, where the player operates the claw from a camera suspended above the prize pit. The claw machine mechanism will also be used in creating the “deployment method” of the mothership for the DanceBot Swarm demobots team. To read more about DanceBot check out their blog post!

The team is currently working on designing the mechanism, modeling it in CAD software, and deciding on a circuitry design, and actively looking for members for the “electrical” team.


The first few weeks for Couchbot this semester focused on setting up a development environment for new members. This included installing Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) to use in tandem with VS Code for remote development. We also gave a tutorial over programming in Python and went over the couch’s driver code (running on the Raspberry Pi).Lastly, we gave a tutorial on setting up and using Android Studio to edit code for our mobile Bluetooth application used to control the couch wirelessly.

Skills that Couchbot is looking for:

  1. People that have an interest in focusing on and even leading the hardware side of Couchbot. Skills include knowledge solid of circuitry, power distribution, and/or mechanical design.

  2. In general, it is always good to have more Mechanical and Electrical Engineering students, as well as Computer Science students. However, anyone from any background can join if they are interested in the couch. The lessons we’ve been hosting on skills necessary for couch development are also very applicable to classes/work outside of Demobots.

As always, if you’re interested in joining Demobots, join the MS Teams (or utras.slack.com) demobots group or send me a message at cmonty@utexas.edu.

Author: Caitlin Montgomery