Team LTCoE in ABU ROBOCON 2016

About the event:

The Asia-Pacific Robot Contest (ABU Robocon) is an Asian Oceanian College robot competition, founded in 2002 by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Robocon is probably the biggest, and the most advanced robotics design competition in the Asia-Pacific region. In the competition robots compete to complete a task within a set period of time. To build the robots, contestants, who are restricted to be undergraduate students, must possess rich knowledge in programming, mechanical design and electronic circuit design. The national level round is used to determine the team which will represent the country in the international round. For 2015, the host country is Indonesia.

Problem Statement

The contest theme for this year is "Clean Energy Recharging the World". A rulebook is issued which gives the guidelines and every constraint of the robot to be built. Each team consists of two robots, one Eco Robot and one Hybrid Robot. Eco Robot doesn't have an actuator to drive itself. The driving force of Eco Robot is obtained indirectly from Hybrid Robot; for example, wind force, magnetic force, etc., or from the game field structure, gravitational force, etc.

Eco Robot carrying Wind Turbine Propeller departs from "Eco Robot Start Zone", running along hills, slopes, highland and cruising along river region, reaches "Wind Turbine Station". Hybrid Robot gets Wind Turbine Propeller from Eco Robot. Then Hybrid Robot climbs Wind Turbine Pole and assembles Propeller on Wind Turbine Engine attached on top of Wind Turbine Pole. The team that successfully assembles the Propeller earlier is the winner of the game, and is entitled to have achieved "Chai-Yo".

Performance last year: Last year was our college's first attempt at Robocon. The theme was badminton and the host country was Indonesia. The team was a complete unknown at the beginning of the competition, but quickly gained recognition for our precise and fast shuttle service. The league matches were against MIT Aurangabad and Fr. Agnel's, Vashi. We defeated them with relative ease and advanced to the super leagues at rank 9. In a strange twist of luck, we were pitted against the 6 times defending champion at the time, Nirma University. However, the design of the robots held true when the match began, and we managed to astound everyone with a completely unexpected draw. Unfortunately, we lost the rematch, and Nirma University went on to become a champion for the 7th time, but to this day, LTCOE is remembered as the rookie team who almost defeated the national champion. We managed to get ranked at a respectable 23rd out of 90 on our very first attempt.

Captain's words:

Preparing for Robocon, is a platform to discover oneself. An environment that lets you push yourself to work more, explore the uncertainties, implement the ideas and give your best. The competition tests your endurance and dedication for than your technical skills. It is an experience that teaches you to tackle the inevitable harsh scenarios and keep moving to do your best. An experience that cannot be forgotten by the team members soon. The Robots themselves are a testament to the blood, sweat and 'gears' of Team LTCOE.

With an outstanding AIR#06 on its second try, Team LTCOE has set a new benchmark in the history of the institute.

The flow of preparation:

Problem statement was released. Remainder of August was spent planning and concept design
The very first mechanisms were prototyped and tested. Some failed, some showed promise. The material of the chassis was also decided during this time.
First prototype of the Eco robot was ready, and calculations for the hybrid had been finalized. CAD modelling on the hybrid had also begun.
We broke off work by the end of October, to prepare for our semester exams. Once we returned, we started building the practice arena on the terrace, parallel to developing the robots. The base was fabricated and reduction drive was put together.
Due to fabrication errors on the base drive, the entire chassis had to be re-structured and the climbing assembly was revised. This took up most of January and left us with little time to test the pole climbing.
February was a month of major challenges. During this time, the pole climbing assembly completely failed, and the team decided on abandoning the final task altogether. We then focused on the first 60 points and made sure to utilize whatever time we had left practicing. The team pulled many all-nighters in this month. The result was that both robots behaved reliably for the number of tasks we had committed to finishing.

The team left for Pune on the 1st of March. The first practice slots were booked and the robots were assembled and ready in the pit. We tested the robots in the first 10 practice slots as much as we could. The league matches started on the 3rd of March. Since we were a seeded entry due being ranked the top 26 in the previous year, we were the group leader in group Y. We were put against K.K Wagh institute of engineering and NIT Hamirpur in the leagues. The first two matches were easy wins as we had a near perfect score of 235 in the league matches. It was apparent we would be going to the super leagues on the 4th of March. What we didn't realize, was that due to our score, we were a seeded entry in the super leagues as well. We were put up against VJTI in the first match, which we won narrowly due to our robots being faster. Our next opponent was MIT Aurangabad. They put up a good fight, but were still no match for the speed and reliability of our Eco robot. Once the results of the super leagues were announced, we were ecstatic to learn that we had been ranked 5th and were a part of the top 8 going to the quarter finals on the 5th of March. The quarter finals had the toughest of teams competing against each other, and we ended up facing IIT Kanpur. Unfortunately, due to us skipping the pole climbing all-together, the IIT managed to get the best of us. As a result, we were finally ranked 6th among 105 engineering institutes from all over the nation. To top it all, we were even given an award for "The most Economical robot". The end result being, that our college ranks 6th nationwide, 3rd in the state, and 1st in Mumbai.

The team is under the guidance of Director Dr. Vivek Sunnapwar, headed by the captain Mr. Ajay Chaurasiya.

The brilliant minds that make the team include the vice-captain Mr. Smit Modi, Mr. Yash Manian, Mr. Jogesh Pawar, Mr. Ashish Somani, Mr. Saiprasad Balasubramanian, Mr. Rahul Mishra, Mr. Sagar Ambalam, Mr. Yatindra Mahadik, Mr. Chinmay Prabhudesai, Mr. Shubham Pawar, Mr. Ishwar Nimse, Mr. Nihal Pandey, Mr. Manish Sharma, Ms.Shweta Ingavale, Ms. Prajakta Waghamare and Ms. Anuja Madgude