Upcoming Events:

Robotathon

Co-heads: Matthew Yu (@RoboticFish, matthewjkyu@gmail.com) and Burak Biyikli (@Burak Biyikli).

Robotathon Steering Committee Spring 2020 Meeting Times:

Summary

Robotathon is a fall semester introductory robotics competition, created and run by the UT IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS). We teach the basics of robotics to those new to the field.

About 50-100 participants are placed in teams of 4-5 people, assigned a mentor, and helped through designing and building a robot. You’ll then compete amongst your peers for everlasting glory! You can only compete once (no Robotathon veterans, please), but there are many other committees that you can join afterwards.

Many people get started with robots and RAS by participating in Robotathon. If this isn’t your cup of tea, we have something for everyone.


Fall 2019

Last year’s competition

RASketball

Last year’s theme was RASketball! The competition was a points based game where robots had to navigate an obstacle course using line following and wall following, and nab the basketball from the center before the other team! The 2019 rules can be found HERE.

For historical purposes, you might also be interested in previous years’ rules. Please contact the Robotathon Head at this time to receive a copy.


FAQ

So what is Robotathon?

Robotathon is an annual event held every fall semester at the University of Texas at Austin by the UT IEEE Robotics and Automation Society (RAS [răz]).

This competition is a two month long bootcamp for robotics, culminating in a large, sports-like competition that pits each team’s robot against each other in a tournament style battle-to-the-death (figuratively) for glory, honor, and bragging rights.

It is designed for newcomers only. However, if you’re a veteran at robotics, you might be interested in one of our other committees.


What are the robots like?

We provide a basic electronics kit including the following:

Teams generally use the resources available in the UT makerspace, including 3D printers and laser cutters, to build the robot frame and mechanics. You can see some of the 2016 robots here!


When does Robotathon happen?

Participants apply to Robotathon at the beginning of the fall semester. Teams are formed by the Robotathon kickoff meeting, paired with a mentor, and taught basic robotics through weekly workshops up until the competition itself, which is typically during the middle of November, at Mulva Auditorium.


What do I need to know to participate?

Absolutely nothing! All you need is a open mind and a desire to learn. While this is a competition, it is also, above all, a learning experience designed to help teach robotics to those that want to learn. In addition, all participants are generally on the same level because this competition is restricted to newcomers to RAS - primarily freshmen!


Who can compete?

Any UT undergraduate can apply (you don’t have to be an engineer!). Students will be selected based on their expected time commitment for Robotathon over the semester, and their free schedules. This allows us to match you up with participants with similar schedules.


What is the time commitment like?

It’s up to you. However, the quality of your robot is directly correlated to the amount of time you and your team work on it. We’ve broken down the entire project into checkpoints, each task we expect to take from 2-5 hours in weekly commitment per person, increasing linearly with the challenge number. This doesn’t include attending tech talks or learning independently, which is dependent on your personal commitment to learning robotics.

A good suggestion for keeping on the top of things is to set up meeting times with your group - ideally twice a week. Try to schedule one of the days during our Office Hours/Tech Talks/Checkpoints to get the most value out of the mentors.

If your other obligations prevent you from collaborating with your team, please inform your mentor and your team so we can make the appropriate arrangements.


I can’t make some event! What do I do?

Make sure you can attend the Robotathon kickoff meeting and Robotathon itself. As long as your team members can make any particular workshop or checkpoint, you’ll stay caught up. But it’s not nice to ghost your teammates! Make sure you communicate with your team and mentor and meet with them as often as possible!


How do I sign up?

Registration is open in the beginning of the fall semester. You need to pay general member dues ($15) and Robotathon dues ($20) by kickoff. We won’t kick you immediately from your team if you don’t, but you’ll be on probation and won’t be allowed access to the parts kit.

General member dues and Robotathon dues can be paid with our online TXShop link. You also need to sign a safety waiver. You can print one out or grab one during the GMs. Dues may be paid after any RAS GM or at committe meetings or office hours when the Treasurer is present.


What’s the Robotathon Steering Committee?

We’re a committee created in Spring 2020 to better design and host an engaging and exciting Robotathon competition. We decide on the competition idea and theme, design the competition field, write documentation and guides, and ultimately try to make the Robothon experience the best it can be.

Check the blog posts to see in detail where we’ve been and where we’re going!


Any further questions about Robotathon or RAS?

Contact the Robotathon Head or visit our office at 0.822A! There’s usually a leader in the office and we host committee meetings throughout the week.