Victoria University of Wellington students will travel to Sydney, Australia, to defend the title won by their team last year at the Australasian National Instruments Autonomous Robotics Competition. The team beat 15 other teams from Australia and New Zealand to take top honors in the 2013 competition with its autonomous mining robot.
The theme for this year's contest is agriculture, with the robots competing in farming-inspired challenges, which include gathering seeds and putting them in the planting area.
The Victoria team has made several changes for the 2014 competition, according to team leader Robby Lopez. "This year the challenge is quite different," he notes. "With our entry Bolt!, we're really going for top speed and have made major redesigns to the chassis. We've also changed our software."
The team had to accomplish five milestones over the course of the year, which tested different aspects of the robot's capabilities. Lopez says although the team gained valuable experience last year, it still faced some major challenges in developing this year's robot. "Solving the problems created by the more complex design was a nightmare, but after seeing the test results we're happy that we went the extra mile," he says.
From Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)
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