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The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Malaysia

Malaysia Campus students win big at Battlebots Competition

Published: 21 December 2017
USMC Robotics Team
Our Engineering students with their robotic creations during the Bottlebots competition

It is a glorious thing to end the year with triumph as the engineering students of the University of Southampton Malaysia bagged major awards at the recently concluded Heriot-Watt Malaysia Battlebots Competition.

Wo Yew Ben, Delveer Singh, Hishan Parry and Yudesh Subaskaran of Team $yntax Error bagged Third Place while Lim Hui Yi, Lim Zi Xian, Yuki Soo Jia Qi and Lee Jin Hong of Team Xception went home with the Best Design Award.

During the competition, the teams created a robot using materials like a vehicle frame, front and back wheels powered by two DC motors, a microprocessor, a Bluetooth module, motor shield and wires. The students also had to modify their robot using cardboard, polystyrene and sticks.

‘’Everything was done on that day. Yudesh and I focused on the design while the rest of our team on programming,’’ explains Ben, Year 1 engineering student. ‘All teams have the same materials for their robots and it is up to us to write the best and most strategic code in order to win.’’

Despite the limited materials, the $yntax Error team gave their best in the competition. According to Ben, their team effort enabled them to perform better than they expected in the competition.

‘’Despite not knowing which materials will be given to us, we already had a rough idea and some preparation done before the event so it wasn’t a spontaneous thing,’’ he adds.

The Robotics Team head coach and lab demonstrator, Mr Ivan Ling said that some of the students had little or no experience using Arduino or robotics prior to this. ‘’However, with just two mentoring sessions, they managed to catch up and learn all they could. They are fast learners!’’

For Team Xception, designing the robot using limited materials pushed them to modify their design on the spot. Says Hui Yi, a Year 1 EEE student: ‘'It is our first time to take this approach so there were some delays and difficulty but we managed in the end.’’

Team Xception’s robot appears like a truncated pyramid – a design based on their defensive strategy to flip the bot’s opponents easily.

‘’I wouldn’t say that our design was the greatest but we decided to use this design base on the bot’s opponents, the competition rules, and our abilities.’’

In the Battlebot competition, teams place a robot in a ring and each robot attempts to push the opposing robot out of the ring. Once one of the robots has been pushed out, the round is over and the one who remains is the winner.

‘’I am very excited, the students are self-motivated and driven. I am looking forward to guide them on more competitions in the coming year,’’ concludes Ivan.

The USMC Robotics Club is among the newest and most active organisations in the Malaysia Campus. To date, they have nearly 100 student members.

Sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the BattleBot competition gathered the brightest engineering students in the region to encourage creativity and innovation in robotics technology.  A total of three teams from Southampton joined the competition last 16 December.

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