The mechatronics contest for 2017-2018 will be a fun and innovative robot-race, this time called:
Did you ever climb a slippery wall? How hard is it to move fast and accurate and not lose grip on a steep hill? We challenge you to design and build a robot which can autonomously travel over glass surfaces at an angle of 45 °.
Why? Just to have fun and drink a nice beer afterwards? Not just that, we also want to make the world a better place by your technology and inventions!
The glass surfaces in our contest area represent solar panels on a roof. The robot has to go over the centre of each panel and navigate around a chimney and a skylight.
Solar panels are losing efficiency during their lifetime due to contamination. This causes a substantial loss in efficiency and loss in revenues for owners of solar panels. For an average household with 12 solar panels this is a loss of energy of 200 kWh per year. Autonomous robots could be of help by cleaning them with some water and a brush. Ideally these robots find the panels by themselves and clean them by hopping from one panel to the other. Robots can be placed by drones at rooftops and moved from one rooftop to another. Also the supply of power and cleaning fluid can be realised with drones or by passing by a supply station when moved from one rooftop to another, or use the drone as a supply station. Typical solutions put limits to size and weight of a cleaning robot. This contest will be about how to move and navigate with a cleaning robot over a slippery (when wet) glass surface and how to move from one solar panel to another around obstacles.
Design and build a robot that is able to navigate over a flat panel which is at an angle of approximately 45°. The robot must move from its startposition to the opposite end of the roof. Each solar panel on its way has some dirt in the center of the panel which must be removed using a brush and water. The brush is a prescribed item and the robot must carry 1 liter of water which will be filled into the robot at the start of a race. The robot which cleans fastest all panels wins a race. When not all panels are cleaned in the maximum time (5 minutes) the robot which has cleaned most panels wins. The dirt on the panel will be such that it can only be sufficiently removed with the brush and water, at least half the amount of dirt must be removed to count as a cleaned panel. The robot must be working autonomously when it is at the contest area. It is not allowed to “help” the robot while at the contest area. If the robot gets stuck the teams are allowed to stop the robot and move the robot back to the start position from which the robot can be restarted. During the competition up to 4 teams will compete against each other on adjacent contest areas, see figure 2.
Figure 2: Impression of contest area
Join us with your fellow students in our 2017-2018 contest!
The date of the contest is Wednesday 6th of June 2018 during the Dutch Technology Week in Eindhoven. As always the contest will take place on the Market in Eindhoven. We challenge you!
More technical details and requirements will be published in a few days!