Mini Sumobots!

Sumobots are autonomous robots that attempt to push each other out of a ring. These robots are capable of seeking out their opponent and staying within the ring. Mini Sumobots must be less than 10 cm by 10 cm in size and weigh less than 500 grams. One of the most important aspects of Sumo is respectful competition. Opponents bow to each other before each match, and any disrespectful behavior results in a loss of the match.

The Sumobot class is being held at the Mendocino Recreation Center and is aimed at students in the fifth and sixth grade. However, exceptions to the age limits may be made on an individual basis. While the class is really fun, it also takes some hard work and concentration in order for students to successfully get their 'bot up and running. Please contact me if you would like to discuss your child's participation.

Class size is limited to eight students per session, with a Sumobot for every two students. Each team assembles, tests and then modifies their robot. At the same time they learn some basic programming skills and the official mini sumo rules.

We use the Sumobot kits made by Parallax Inc.. These kits are very well made and come complete with excellent documentation and sample code. For any educators interested in my lesson plans and other class details, click HERE or on the Class Details link below. For assembly/construction tips and modifications made by students, as well as details on making a ring, click HERE or on the Assembly/Construction tips link below.

The class consists of seven sessions, each two hours in length. The first three classes or so are spent assembling the robots, testing the sensors, and learning a little programming.

  

From then on, half of each class is devoted to modifying the robots and the other half to testing the robots in actual competition. During the last class we hold a tournament, to which parents or guardians, siblings, friends or anyone else interested may attend. We have a blast with the tournament, as can be seen below.

 

A big thanks goes out to Debbie Castle at the M.R.C., because without her enthusiasm and efforts the class never would have gotten started. We are working on an Advanced Sumobot class and other science classes, so stay tuned! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.