|What is robotic
|Robotic sumo is a game in which
two autonomous robots, known as sumo-bots, are
placed on a platform called an arena, and their goal is to be the first one to push the other
out of bounds on that ring. It may sound simple and easy, but there is a lot more to it than
Consider this: your sumo-bot can in no way be interfered with or controlled by any human
being (including you!). This is what autonomous means. So, all combined, this means that
your sumo-bot must meet and deal with any and all situations that come up by itself. The
programming in a sumo-bot's microcomputer is a primary means of how the sumo-bot
maneuvers, makes decisions, searches for the opponent, and so on. And programming
isn't the only thing that can be complex: mechanisms and even strategies themselves can
get quite complex as well. This doesn't mean that everything is always complex in robotic
sumo; indeed, simple approaches can work just as well or even better than complex
approaches. But it does attest to robotic sumo's great potential and show that it isn't a
"simple and easy" game.
There are lots of interesting facets to LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic sumo. For starters,
MINDSTORMS robotic sumo can be split up into at least three separate sections: the
small-and-fast approach, the M-class (Medium-class) approach, and the big-sumo
approach. There are numerous sub-approaches or sub-strategies within these
approaches; numerous clever, fascinating, and useful mechanisms you can build; and
numerous programming paths you can take.
How does one effectively do all this? My book Competitive MINDSTORMS can show you
how. It has projects for all of the three separate sections, showing you how to construct
and program MINDSTORMS sumo-bots. Moreover, it has instructions on how to make a
robotic sumo arena and how to host your own robotic sumo events.
MINDSTORMS(R) are registered trademarks of the LEGO
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Competitive MINDSTORMS web site is unofficial and is used to
promote the book Competitive MINDSTORMS Copyright (C) 2004
David J. Perdue.