UTAR Robocon Team 2022
Robocon Malaysia is a robot-building competition, jointly organised by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) this year. Inspired by a traditional game in South India, the competition this year required the participants to create two robots to complete a Lagori, a traditional game that originated from the southern part of India, also known as seven stones or tuju tin here in Malaysia.
A team of eight students from UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES) emerged as the winner of the Top 8 team award (8 Pasukan Terbaik) at the competition. Among the team members were Bachelor of Science (Honours) Physics student Elton Mah Song Zhe; Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Mechatronics Engineering students Jefferson Ting Kit Din, Leong Khai Shuen, Leong Qi Ye, Shaw Chun Lin, Lee Min Shen, Er Kai Sheng and Wong Yee Hang. Ranked 8 out of 24 teams in the competition, the students walked away with medals and certificates. The competition took place from 2 June 2022 to 5 June 2022 at Kompleks Sukan Azman Hashim, USM.
Students with their robots
The students said, “Our team is comprised of members from various science and engineering backgrounds with the majority being mechatronics students. Ever since the hiatus from the recent two-year pandemic, UTAR’s ROBOCON team has seen a decline in numbers as well as seniors to guide the newcomers. With the pandemic restrictions lifted this year, we have gathered new and inexperienced but enthusiastic members to compete in the competition. We aim to reignite our annual ROBOCON team activity with this small effort.”
They added, “We were thrilled to bits when we heard the joyous news of us winning the top 8 Team award. Although we came close to being qualified for the next round, we have already achieved something far beyond our expectations. With a small team of 8 and also limited time and resources, we have given our best shot and effort, even as far as giving the major teams a run for their money. Although we are proud of our achievements, we are still not satisfied with our current results. Therefore, we strive to improve our robots for next year’s competition and will surely be back to win.”
The students also explained, “The game takes place between two teams (Team 1: “Seeker” and Team 2: “Hitter”) and the game starts when the seeker throws a ball to break the stone tower called Lagori. While the seekers try to pile up the stones again, the hitter throws balls to interrupt them.”
“We have built two robots, R1 to shoot the balls and R2 to pick up the Lagori disks. Although our robots lacked advanced technology for movement and gripping, our robots were stable enough to out-manoeuvre most of the teams. As long as the ball on top of the R2 robot doesn’t fall, we are able to beat our opponents by 1 Lagori disk worth of points. We also focused on the shooting speed of R1. Given the situation of a tie, the team with the shortest time to break the Lagori pile wins the match. We perfected our shooting mechanism and so it was able to break the pile within 3 seconds, faster than any other team in the group. Due to the points we scored in total, we were placed top 8 out of all the other competitors,” they added.
Asian-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Robot Competition (Robocon) is a yearly Asian-Oceanian college robot-building competition.
UTAR Robocon Team 2022 receiving medal from the competition organiser