THE KILLER ROBOT- Kanyempwe, Juma B.



This week’s challenge at the DIT Design Studio was to design and build an autonomous robot for the sumo ring. This challenge was very unique and was one of the reasons why I was so excited about this. The main goal was to be the last robot in the ring so we were grouped in pairs. Thomas and I came up with so many great ideas on the robot we were going to design and all the crazy parts about the defense mechanism and how cool we wanted the robot to look like. “Killer robot” was the name we chose for our robot design.

We then had to create a robot that would be able to detect the ring’s black line so that the robot could have all the space needed to reverse the direction. We also needed the robot to detect other robots and have a defence mechanism to remove the other  robot out of the way.

Below is a prototype of the design:

So the challenge conditions were to use only two ultrasonic sensors for detecting the opponent, two IR sensors for detecting the boundaries, then for the defence mechanism, a 12V DC motor to create monster propeller blades on top of the robot. For this kind of defence mechanism we needed our robot to be very stable. So we decided to design the robot’s body to be very close to the ground in order to lower the center of gravity, hence increasing the stability of the robot.


We faced some difficulties in designing the robot defence mechanism in that we could not find the right place to put the propeller blades so that they would not block the ultrasonic sensor. On the prototype, we successfully stabilised the robot by lowering its center of gravity. We hope by Wednesday, before D-day, we shall have a fully-functional sumo robot.

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