Article Contents
Article Contents

# A Robot-Sumo student competition at UNICAL as a learning-by-doing strategy for STEM education

• The continuous growth of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education has set intense pressure on well-established engineering subjects, with a trend of replacing them with less demanding theoretical contents. This paper describes a recent activity with bachelor students to stimulate STEM education via a Robot-Sumo Competition. Students are grouped in teams to design, build and program their robot sumo robots. This course was implemented for the first time at University of Calabria (UNICAL). As a first attempt has been made with six teams each made of six students. Some seminars are delivered to the students to let them understand the assignment and its basic requirements. Then, they are expected to start developing a concept design and competition strategy. Then, they work on a 3D CAD modelling to design their own robot, whose main components will be later 3D printed and assembled. In parallel, the team selects the required sensors and electronic components as based on an Arduino architecture. The robots are completed and programmed for the competition where teams fight to find the most competitive solutions. The competition proves to be highly effective to learn multiple skills with a very practical and stimulating approach.

 Citation:

• Figure 1.  Some pictures taken during the 3D printing classes and practices

Figure 2.  Some pictures taken during the assembly and testing phase of the Sumo Robots

Figure 3.  Robot of Team 1, called SQUARE

Figure 4.  Robot of Team 2, called RHINO

Figure 5.  Robot of Team 3, called J3RR1

Figure 6.  Robot of Team 4, called JACKIE CHAN

Figure 7.  Robot of Team 5, called BONAROBOT

Figure 8.  Robot of Team 6, called DUNEBUGGY

Figure 9.  Some photos taken during the competition

Figure 10.  Photos taken during the final stage of the awards ceremony. 1: SQUARE, 2: RHINO, 3: J3RR1, 4: JACKIE CHAN, 5: BONAROBOT, 6: DUNEBUGGY

Table 1.  Ring dimensions

 Class Height Diameter Mega/Humanoid 5.00 cm 154.0 cm Mini/Lego 2.50 cm 77.0 cm Micro 1.25 cm 38.5 cm Nano 0.625 cm 19.25 cm

Table 2.  Robots' maximum dimensions and weight

 Class Height Width Length Weight Mega Sumo – Auton, R/C, Network unlimited 20.0 cm 20.0 cm 3000 g Humanoid - R/C 50.0 cm 20.0 cm 20.0 cm 3000 g Lego unlimited 15.0 cm 15.0 cm 1000 g Mini unlimited 10.0 cm 10.0 cm 500 g Micro 5.0 cm 5.0 cm 5.0 cm 100 g Nano 2.5 cm 2.5 cm 2.5 cm 25 g
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