Wall-climbing robots race to the top

August 4, 2011
Robot Competition

Each competing robot was designed and fabricated by a group of 3 or 4 second-year students, using a combination of team-designed sensors, mechanical components, motors, and software programs to detect the holes and reach for the top (credit: UBC)

Fourteen teams of University of British Columbia (UBC) engineering physics students are set to compete in the 11th Annual UBC Engineering Physics Robot Competition.

Students are challenged to design “climber-bots” that can crawl, grab, and lift themselves straight up an eight-foot tall vertical wall. Once at the top, robots have to grab onto a “zip-line” and ride down to the finish line to victory — all without any remote controls or human interference.

The robots are all less than one-foot tall and will scale the vertical climbing wall using only the holes and slots cut into the wall. Robots have a limited time to make the climb, and run the risk of dropping from the wall and falling straight to the floor.

Full rules for this year’s competition can be found here.