Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NYP impresses competitors at Taiwan FIRA 2012

By Cheang Hoi Yee, Year 2, Diploma in Digital & Precision Engineering

They raced their robots at an open-air car park, under the sweltering afternoon heat.  It was certainly a memorable experience for three members from School of Engineering (SEG) from NYP - Cheng Zhi Bo, Albert Tan and Zhao Mei Jun. They recently went to Kaohsiung,Taiwan, on in July, to compete in the Taiwan FIRA 2012, Humanoid Robot World Cup Soccer Tournament (HuroCup).

The NYP SEG team did well. Besides winning the overall third place, the team also secured Gold medals for Sprint and Marathon categories.

The FIRA (Federation of International Robot-soccer Association) HuroCup is an annual international robotics competition. This year, Taiwan FIRA was held to select the best team within Taiwan. NYP was invited as a guest participant and had the privilege of competing with top universities in Taiwan.

Here’s a run-down on what the robots need to do in different categories. In the Sprint category, the robots must “run” a three metre distance and return back to the start line in a straight path, as quickly as possible. The Marathon category is similar to a human marathon run. It aims to test the robustness and reliability of humanoid robots. No replacement of batteries is allowed in this gruelling 84m run. Thus, it is not uncommon that robots get damaged due to the strain of the long distance run.

This year, Taiwan held the Marathon category in an open-air car park in the afternoon. The temperature in Taiwan reached a high of 33-36 degrees Celsius that afternoon. NYP’s robot “ROCKY” was the only robot that can complete the gruelling 84m race under the scorching hot sun. It also clocked a respectable timing of 23 minutes. Both the organisers and the participants from the Taiwanese universities complimented ROCKY for its robustness and “toughness”.

At this competition, NYP took the opportunity to test their new robot design, smart capability, and robustness. 

We spoke to Zhi Bo, and according to him, one challenge he faces with ‘ROCKY’ is the setting up logic programming for different events and producing the prototype. During the competition, speed and responsiveness is essential when it comes to operation and maintenance. The team took months to produce this working prototype (including 2 weeks of programming). Through the competition, Zhi Bo is able to observe and learn from feedback from other competitors.

The proudest moment for Zhi Bo was when his team received a round of applause and congratulations from all the other competitors in the Taiwan FIRA 2012 when ROCKY appeared as the only robot that survived the arduous 84m race. As ROCKY has been designed and modified over years by different teams of lecturers and students, Zhi Bo believes that team work is an essential key to success.

This year, in August, NYP will be sending a team to confront the elites in robotics from all around the world at FIRA RoboWorld Cup in Bristol, UK.

The team worked very hard to prepare for this international event. We sincerely wish them all the best in the competition!

No comments:

Post a Comment