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RoBoMaster 2017

Published on: 28-Sep-2017

Author: Fang Meiyi (Computer Science, Year 2. First row from right.)

RoboMaster is an annual robotics competition organised by DaJiang Innovation (DJI) for teams of aspiring engineers to design and build next-generation robots that are capable of completing difficult tasks and hand-to-hand combat. As the first robot combat elimination tournament in China, RoboMaster has attracted close attention from hundreds of universities; nearly 1,000 high-tech enterprises and tens of thousands of fans from across the country has attended since its debut. Through fierce competition and team-building, DJI aims to provide an exciting new venue for science and engineering students to contribute their creativity and skills outside of the virtual world of online gaming.

To most RoboMaster 2017 participants, it was a hectic summer. To build robots from scratch, the amount of work involved was far beyond my imagination. It could be the mechanical design, the software implemented or trivia like preparing a piece of connecting wire. I shared the joy when the robots started to move and function. And I witnessed how plans had to be aborted despite weeks of efforts behind. Eventually, our robots were more than just blueprints after months of trials, setbacks, and small breakthroughs.

Though we came in 2nd in the knock-out round, it was a pity that we did not reach the grand finals. Despite the setback, we were still glad to see the improvements made in the past few months. While participating in the actual combat in China, we also had the chance to speak to students from various opponent teams. It was truly amazing to meet those like-minded, talented students and learnt about their RoboMaster journeys as well. 

When I first joined the team as a junior member, it was mainly out of curiosity. Initially, the sheer comparison between my background and the amount of work ahead was rather intimidating. Thanks to the guidance from seniors of various engineering schools, I have gained better understanding in robotics systems such as ROS and computer vision. One of the SCSE seniors, Ren Daxuan (CS, Year 4), also provided invaluable support in deep learning on our robots. Moreover, it was through RoboMaster that I began to understand large project operations and hardware constraints in real-life applications.

For future RoboMaster competitions, I believe there is still a long way to go. Nevertheless, I hope fellow students who share similar passion in robotics would also embark on this journey with us next year..


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