1 cubic inch Robot

What do you do during the off season??? We still build robots but at a smaller scale??
Just thougth I’d share a competition that has a maximum size limit of one cubic inch. I’ve attached a photo for you to see. After building 130 lb robots for several years it feels funny to put this thing in my pocket.
We’ll be flying to Japan next week to compete. Here is the website if anyone else is interested:http://imd.eng.kagawa-u.ac.jp/maze/index_e.html

This is an amazing competition! How large is the team that is going to the competition?

thats really cool, is there a game u have to play with it? or is the challenge just making it work? :>

did you use the motors found here:


Nice work… looks like you’ve done all your own surface mount soldering, and it looks like I see some reflective IR sensors on there.

You could fit… what, about 60,000 of those robots into the starting volume allowed for an FRC machine, or almost 6,000 into the starting volume of a VEX robot.

Now it just needs it’s own teeny-tiny little shipping crate to get to Japan!


Nah, it would get lost before it would even leave the post office.

Those are incredible.

That’s such a cute little 'bot…:slight_smile: Looks kind of like the Japanese sumo bots we’ve played with in the past, except we didn’t get to go to Japan.

So I’m intrigued by the photo and the whole notion of micro robots. I went to the site you listed for information on the competition. At the top of the home page it had a link to the construction manual for micro robot kit. Right on the first page of the manual was exactly what I was looking for. Right under the cutter knife and instant glue was the ever popular “insulting tape”. And when it insults you, ir really sticks it to you! :slight_smile:

See for yourselves at http://imd.eng.kagawa-u.ac.jp/maze/manual/mr_manual_en.pdf

My guess is something got a tad lost in translation.

We’re taking a team of 17 students and 4 adults to Japan this Sunday the 4th of Nov. We’re very lucky to have an alumni of our school, Waiakea High - Team 2024, who went off to graduate in electrical engineering come back and help us. His employers at the CalTech Submillimeter Telescopes have been very supportive as well. Some of you have a very good eye…yes, we mounted the two circuit boards in a Horizontal position with two Geared motors and two wheels. We’re using a PIC16F877A for a processor. We have 3 IR sensors – one in the front and one on each side. The motors come from solarbotics - GM15 with a 24:1 planetary gear for about $15 each.
If you look at the website for the contest you’ll see a 1 cubic centimeter robot contest as well. We’re working on them now and I may have a picture up soon. They can be tethered so we don’t have to put a pic on them. I had to special order motors from England.
The “game” for the 1 inch bots looks like a tic-tac-toe board with the lines being 30 mm wide, a little over an inch. You have to hit four points in the grid and then rush the finish line. For the 1 centimeter bots you have three contests - straight line race, slolom and hill climb. It’s been a great experience with my students learning how to design,print and etch their own circuit boards, solder on very small components and programing. Let me know if anyone has more questions! Aloha

We also split up our team of 17 students into three different teams…In the end we were supposed to have 6 one inch micro bots and 1 cubic centimeter robots done by sunday. So far we have 6 running (motors running, not programmed) one inch robots and a built centimeter robot…we still have to tether the centimeter and practive driving it. Adding programs to our one inch robots will be some peoples priorities for the next 3/4 days.

OK, we have a picture of our 1 cm3 robot now too. The nob on the front is actually a weight to help hold the shafts to the ground.

The 1 cm robot is actually just a couple of very small motors glued together. We drive them on their shafts - no wheels. We’ll be using very small mogami wire as a tether to the controls. The competition calls for a straight line race, a slolom course and a hill climb for these small bots. The ultimate would be to make these autonomous like the 1 inch robots. Maybe next year???

I’ll dig up the article later but someone made a really sweet little flying bug. It was apparently pretty hard because the principles that make larger airplanes and helicopters fly didn’t work on such a small scale.

Edit: Later means right now. Here’s the article: http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/19068/page1/ and here’s the metafilter discussion: http://www.metafilter.com/63135/Robotic-Insect-Takes-Off

Good luck on your trip Dale!
We are seriously thinking of joining you folks next year if your team and Art folks help us get there. Lucky Art! We just got back from Japan and he gets to go AGAIN!! By the way, your comedy performance last week was really funny. My students want more of your ninja act!
Take lots of pics!!!:smiley:

Team 2024 just got back from Japan last week with a first place in the one inch autonomous robot, a third place in the one cubic centimeter robot race and a fifth place and best bot award for the one inch remote control category. 3/4 of the teams were from universities in Japan, Korea and Guatemala. Check out the article, with a nice picture, below:


Congrats! that’s a very impressive accomplishment! Will the robots be on display in you pit at competitions?

Great job! I’m amazed that such a small robot could perform a challenge autonomously in so little time. The size of those robots is really incredible; I suppose it makes for a completely different kind of competition.

On a side note, it sounds as though the article got a few facts wrong (building robots up to 4 feet high? Surely one of those seven bots was taller than that). Not a surprise; my team has found out the media rarely reports with 100% accuracy, at least when it comes to FIRST.

Aloha All,
Ha, as for the media accuracy…I’ve had quite a few quotes attributed to me in the paper that had nothing to do with what I said. Most times, however, they usually make me sound more intelligent than I am so I’m not complaining???
Thanks for the idea nuttyman54…yes, I think we’ll bring them to the regionals to display in the pits. We plan on attending the Silicon Valley and Hawaii regionals this year if anyone there wants to see them in person. Although I have to tell you with all the tools and parts that lay around our pit area it would be really easy to lose them. In fact, we almost left them at home when we flew to Japan and we actually left the one cubic cm robot at the hotel on the day of the competition. One student had to catch the train back to the hotel and made it back with 5 minutes to spare before he had to compete. Its really easy to misplace these little guys when you’re use to 130 pound robots. BTW, we transported all three one inch robots in a little glass jar about the size of peanut butter jar in our carry-ons. It still feels funny pulling robots out of a jar…

is it the same robot in the first post as the article? doesnt look like it o.O

you have a good eye…no its not the same one. We built three one cubic inch robots because we had three sub-teams of about 5-7 students each. Each one was slightly different and we were making changes on them all the way up to the night before competition in the Hotel…sound familiar??? We also had two one cubic centimeter robots which looked a lot alike since they consisted of the same two motors and weights.