I decided to try a new idea. CHAMP Challenge night. The idea is to break the group up into small teams, present all teams with the same challenge and give them 2 hours to build something to compete against the other groups to complete the challenge. Tonights Challenge was to create a machine that could ascend a rope 10ft, hit a button to light an LED and descend back down to the bottom of the rope. All while carrying an EGG! The team that made it the fastest was the winner. If no team made it all the way up then the team that made it the highest would be declared the winner. No one besides myself was aware of any details of the challenge until the challenge started.
Team 1 built a bot that was also tethered, using a spool to wrap the rope around and attempt to ascend. The first attempt was not enough power. The second attempt had enough power but the rope kept binding in the spool. The team did manage to get off the ground but not all the way to the top.
Team 2 built a machine out of a MAKE Robot kit. They ran into several issues with the motors not being strong enough to pull up its own weight. They then had to
change over to all of the controls and battery tethered to the bot. The first attempt saw the bot climb the rope by winding the rope up into itself…BUT once it reached the top it was unable to hit the button. The second attempt came with a minor adjustment and a lot bigger power supply. Lets just say a little magic smoke was released in the ascending. All in all the button was pressed and the bot came back down to earth in 40 seconds with egg in tact.
Team 3’s bot (after a quick rule change that informed them they could not just attach the egg to a stick and hold it up to the button!) was built with a PVC pipe, continuous motion servo, pulleys (some designed and printed on the 3D printer) and an RC controller. The bot did suffer a MAJOR catastrophe while being built when a drill bit punctured a LIPO battery pack and burst into flames. Joes quick reaction to pull the battery out and get it outside saved the bot and they were able to finish the build. The bot was the only bot that was 100% self contained and climbed the rope to the top, pressed the button and came back down!! unfortunately this took 7 minutes.
Team 4 was late coming to Challenge night by 30 min and finished with 30 min to spare!!! They went low tech… VERY low tech. They basically build an arrow that used a guide to connect to the rope. They then fired it with a bow and then with rubber bands and then by hand throwing it up the rope. The team made it up 3/4 the way and the egg was safe but the button was never pressed.
I would like to also thank a member from Akron’s Syn/Hak for participating. We hope to get more of you guys out here for the next one SEPT 22nd!!! I will also try and get the videos up of each teams attempt.