Engineering students in the mechatronics class at The Cooper Union in Manhattan have a unique final exam—they build sumo robots that fight one another for supremacy.
[Off-Screen Voice:] Get set. Fight! Darkrai’s out.
[Brian Cusack:] The objective of the competition is for the robot to autonomously push the other robot out of the ring. The type of robot that usually wins is the robot that malfunctions the least.
[Text on Screen:] Navigation was the downfall of these three bots.
[Ashera Mohamed, Team PyroseWazo:] Sometimes it just gets caught where it just starts spinning in a circle.
[Text:] Many teams picked powerful motors and wedged designs and used brute force to shove their rivals to defeat.
Team TaeTay took a two-pronged attack.
[Jessie Wu, Team TaeTay:] The main focus of it was a twin-fanged design. What we really wanted to do was catch other robots by the sides, and I think that was our best approach to doing that.
[Text:] It was also faster and more agile than the competition.
TaeTay faced PigBot in the five-round championship match.
[Cusack:] Trying to do this amount of work in 14 weeks is daunting. The ability to organize is one of the biggest lessons in this class beyond all the technical work.
Executive Producer: Eliene Augenbraun
Producer: Lydia Chain
Videographer: Lydia Chain, Larry Greenemeier
Stock Audio: AudioBlocks
Special Thanks: Brian Cusack; Team TaeTay—Jessie Wu, Lily Lin, Tony Zhao; Team PyroseWazo—Jacqueline Le, Asmera Mohamed, Tiffany Tang; The Cooper Union