Transformers at IITB – Tech General Championship
“A competition held at IIT Bombay as a part of Tech General Championship recently was to device a mechanical robot “Transformer” that fits in a 1ft x 1ft x 1ft volume and expands to a largest (enclosing) bounding box volume. There were no batteries allowed or any chemicals to be used. Your Transformer must only use stored mechanical potential energy! And to top it, all this had to happen with only single external trigger!” Here is the exact problem statement.
The hostels came up with some really innovative ideas and designs. They used everything from straws to springs to umbrellas to rock!
Top most expansions:
- Hostel #8 went upto 15 meter^3. About 530 times of the original size!
- Hostel #1 went upto 8.6 meter^3. About 330 times the original size. They had a very professional design and called their bot “Graviton”. They won the Best Design Award!
- Hostel #3 and Hostel #10 (ladies hostel) had a tough competition with their bots expanding to ~ 6.5 meter^3 230 times!
Photos and videos:
This was the first time H1 was participating in Tech GC. Nobody knows when was the last attempt. Their bot was impressive and as Sagar says, it casted a scary look on many other bots!
First Round – The Drama!
The competition proceeded very interestingly for Hostel #1. Their bot was designed to expand in all 6-directions. The expansions were well thought-off and tested. The trigger was most crucial mechanism of the bot. At the last minute they changed their plan of not using the complicated string-trigger mechanism. This wasn’t tested before and it was their turn – they were rushed onto the stage! All of the extensions were wound by an elastic which was to be cut at-two-places simultaneously for the trigger to be considered valid! Their first attempt, directlty on stage – scary for the entire team! Nobody was sure whether it would work.
Sagar went on to attempt the trigger. He tried once, the elastic failed to cut .. twice and it failed … Everybody could already hear the scissors’ attempt to cut the elastic … Clang! Two pipes broke off from the bot and hit the ground! This was a clear disqualification! But nobody said anything! It was already embarassing, not to be able to trigger your own bot! Ramnath added to the nervousness by declaring that three attempts have been made to cut the string which he indicated was against the rules! See Video.
Finally the string cut! clack! and only the top extension shot loose. Nothing along the lateral dimensions! Turmoil! 😦
Ramnath rushed the team asking for measurements of the incompletely expanded bot. It was not worth it and we could do better. Manav decided to call-off the attempt. “Ditch!” he said. He accepted the failure and knew the score would be casted zero! He insisted that we be allowed to cut the other elastic to test (rest of the extensions of) our bot. This was granted.
Sagar cut the other elastic and voila! The rest of the bot broke loose! And expanded fantastically in all directions! The boys did note what had gone wrong with the attempt and set out to fix it.
- One lateral expansion hit the table
- The string that was cut first was a semi trigger only for the top of the bot to release
We fixed it both the flaws and tested it independently of the official trial. It worked! Now we were all set for the second attempt. And this here video shows how we did and the public response!
H1 celebrated and partied in the night! I am sure all of us had a pleasant sleep that night! 😉
Hilarious Comments by Sagar:
Sagar very nicely describes the emotions and bashings during the course of the event and celebrations. Hilarious! Check ’em out here:
… To top it all I would like to detail the mindset in which our team was when the first attempt failed…Mr. Mohit “Maine bola tha neechey se kaatna!!” He meant to say scissor ka neechey(near the joint) ka portion. How would I come to know neechey se means near the base of the scissor and not the lower portion of the mechanism (robot)??? …
Crack One-liners by Malpani:
Anand Malpani, had some crack (amazing) one-liners in desi IIT slang:
… H1 – matlab yaar too much tha! professional maxxx! the machine was by far ek dum systematic and to top it all they had the transformers logo also on it with the name of hostel and stuff!
H10 – straws!!!! if only straws had beeen allowed but the design was fabulous scissors made from these were never thought by us that could work so great
H3 – amazing calculations awesome idea of body diagonal!! dunno who is the brains behind it but the team effort was great …
- Sagar Bhokre
- Nikunj Bhagat
- Mayank Pandey (H9)
- Siddharth Jain (H9)
- Jhelum (H11) – Optimum Coordinate System
- Anand Pratik
- Rahul Mishra
- Abhishek Dwivedi – Posters
- and many more …
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