The SumoBoy Team and their mini-robots
The team of die-hard robotics enthusiasts from Latvia created a fighting robot for entertainment and educational purposes using Arduino board.
We would like to present to you an outstanding team of robotics enthusiasts from Latvia – SumoBoy - Gundars Miezitis, Guntis Kulikovskis, Einars Degsnis, Agris Nikitenko, and Karlis Berkolds (on the photo starting from the left).
They started their journey almost 10 years ago. During those years, they won several competitions in Europe. In 2010 they traveled to a championship event in the USA and took home second place with their mega sumo robot. Serious upgrades and improvements followed, so that at the 2013 RoboGames tournament in the USA, their mini sumo robots, as well as their line follower robot, got first place. In 2014, the team went to Japan and took first place at the International Robot Sumo Tournament with their mega sumo robot.
The SumoBoy team believes that the key to victory is the refined balance between the robot's mechanics, electronics and software. SumoBoy is a fighting robot, made for real tournaments in accordance with the international sumo robot competition rules and regulations. It can be custom programmed depending on owner’s chosen battle strategy. At the Robot’s core lies the programmable Arduino Micro board. The RobotNest team makes most of the robot's parts. The wheels, silicon tires, armor plates, frontal blade, base plate and the wheel hubs are made by SumoBoy team.
Considering that mini and mega sumo robot competition rules limit only the weight and the size of the robot in horizontal dimensions, team was constantly searching for all kinds of tricks to complement the robot in vertical dimension. For example, vertical flags, which are folded down after the start, signal to mislead the opponent robot. Eventually, they chose a strategy that lies mainly in utilizing programming skills. One of their tournament robots could only see sideways, therefore, it was possible to make the front part of the robot totally smooth and black, absorbing the opponent’s emitted infrared signals and thus becoming invisible. However, with such a design, it is crucial to create a program such that your robot is invisible, but at the same time it can see well enough to find the opponent. Thereby through the trials, experiments and battle experience with different mega and mini sumo robots, the team has come to a world's first professional mini-sumo robotics kit SumoBoy.
The SumoBoy robot can be also used for educational purposes. Team has developed a special kit, with which you can learn basics of electronics and programming, as well as mechanics. The kit consists of the robot, mounting plates, motors, sensors, and other electronic parts that are necessary for the learning process. The SumoBoy team is starting a Kickstarter campaign to fund mass production and to popularize their mini-robots worldwide.
Good luck, SumoBoy!