We asked Josh Roe why he and his team chose to use the Kitsunei platform In place of the Lego EV3 for their project entry to the 2019 Robocup Junior Competition. They had won previous competitions with EV3s. The question was “Why”?
“Kitsi Blocks allowed for the development of a light, efficient car robot.”
Age: 16 years old
Level: Yr 12
Favourite block: Motor Driver
Why: It can power so many motor types
Josh was the team lead for the competition, along with his fellow students (Cody Overs - CAD/Code, Jake Overs - CAD/Code, Liam Grace - PM/ CAD, Matt Beikoff - Code, Ryan Hansen – CAD) all of whom were Yr 12s attending Burpengary State Secondary College on Brisbane, Queensland’s north-side. The team worked for over 6 months using their time in the Robotics Club, 2.5 hours per week, at home and on weekends to prepare for the state competition.
Josh explained, “We needed a platform that was flexible, modular and could address the challenges presented by the limitations of motor type, sensor choice, code debt and physical size. “
He further reinforced their main challenge:
“With only 4 sensors available with our EV3 kits: Ultrasonic (distance), touch, Colour/light and gyro the search was on for a replacement.”
“We needed a platform that was flexible, modular and could address the challenges presented by the limitations of motor type, sensor choice, code debt and physical size. “
Getting competitive thinking smart
The race was on to create a competitive entry with the more flexible Kitsunei platform. Much discussion and plenty of experimentation ensued.
The efficiency and design challenges that were addressed:
- Wide motor selection - smaller motors with the torque / pulling power needed.
- Greater Sensor selection - a wide selection, replacing the limited 4 of the EV3s.
- NoCode: computational gates, no code required. Simple, clear and efficient.
- Size: the chocolate square size of the modular, magnetically connecting Kitsi
Blocks allowed the development of a light, efficient car robot.
In conclusion: the team were able to let their imaginations fly and come up with a better designed solution. They embraced the principles encased in the design cycle and as a result came up with a fast moving, responsive robot that worked within the rule limitation of the competition.
They did not win the competition however it was clear they learnt a great deal by stepping outside their comfort zones and trying something new.