@ MIT 6.270

 

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MIT 6.270 Competition (Thursday, 02-02-06 @ 6:00pm)

Our team did attend the competition this year, but only briefly.  Due to a late start, heavy traffic, and parking difficulties (always a problem in Cambridge), coupled with the curfew of a school night, we were only able to see an hour of the competition.  It seemed more crowded than 2004, but Compton Labs holds fewer people than the Kresge Auditorium.  Team 48 ("B.A.L.") finished first, with Team 13 ("Cookie Monster") in 2nd place.  We were definitely rooting for the "Cookie Monsters", as we are FVC team 13.

Simply, the "Broom Club" contest was to sweep as many balls from the center height of the 6x8' field to your own scoring areas, with robot designs concentrating on pushing and collecting designs.  Some were very quick, some slow and deliberate, some very erratic, and some immobile.  It was a high-energy event, with prizes from the sponsors and tee shirts being thrown into the audience (we got a couple of tee shirts our selves!).

Check out our 6.270 photos!

Check out the MIT team web pages at http://web.mit.edu/6.270/Teams/.


MIT offers a course every January, in which students build robots from LEGOs and electronics (they use a HappyBoard computer, not the LEGO RCX) and compete in a contest that varies from year to year.  This year's theme is Broom Club: Mischief. Mayhem. LEGO.

The premise:

The first rule of Broom Club is: you do not talk about Broom Club.
The second rule of Broom Club is: you do not talk about Broom Club.
One night in lab, a malcontented undergrad named Tyler finally snaps. Sick of the late nights in lab, irritating hall mates, and mind-numbing problem sets, he turns his fascination with robots into a covert, radical resistance to the everyday.
In the sub-basement halls of MIT the Broom Club meets to sweep away the dull, grinding humdrum existence of student life, replacing it with the visceral reality of robot carnage. As faithful as a support group and about as well trained as an alter-ego their robots elevate them to the engineering nirvana that can only be realized through head to head competition.
Today you are to be inducted into the philosophy, the revolution, the freedom that is Broom Club. Channel your ingenuity; hone your strength; rely on your construction skills; and bolster your knowledge of soap production.
You have joined the army! You arenít a beautiful and unique snowflake, youíre an engineer. Beware, your first Broom Club meeting is soon and you should remember... the third rule of Broom Club is: if this is your first night, your robot has to sweep.

The 6.270 Information for Contestants page has a wealth of information for robot builders.  The 6.270 course notes explain the whole process in general, both the 2005 competition and robot construction.

The final competition is at the MIT Compton Laboratories on Thursday night at 6:00pm.  It is a great experience for FLL teams to see what students from one of the world's best engineering universities can do with some of the same materials that they work with themselves.  Please attend if you can, or catch the RealPlayer streamed video!
 

Compton Laboratories (W26)

Final Rounds for MIT 6.270 course competition
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006, 6:00pm, Compton Laboratories
The final rounds of the contest. Robots will compete until a winner is decided. This event will be televised live on MIT Cable.

Final Rounds WEBCAST
Thursday, February 2nd, 2006, 6:00pm EST
Can't make it to MIT? Experience the excitement LIVE (with Real Player)!

Low Bandwidth (80 Kbps)
High Bandwidth (220 Kbps)
 

Directions to MIT (from MIT web site):

From the North (I-95 or I-93)

If you are heading south on I-93, follow I-93 into Boston then follow the I-93 instructions below. If you are heading south on I-95, take the I-93 South exit then follow the instructions from I-93. Alternatively, take the I-90 East exit from I-95 then follow the instructions from I-90.

From the South (I-95 or I-93)

If you are heading north on I-93, follow I-93 (the Southeast Expressway) into Boston then follow the I-93 instructions below. If you are heading north on I-95, take the I-93 North exit then follow the instructions from I-93. Alternatively, take the I-90 East exit from I-95 then follow the instructions from I-90.

From the West (I-90) (Mass Turnpike)

Follow I-90 east to the Cambridge/Brighton exit (exit 18). Following the signs to Cambridge, cross the River Street Bridge, and continue straight about 1 mile to Central Square. Turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue and follow Massachusetts Avenue for about a half mile. The main entrance to MIT will be on your left. If you cross the river again, you have gone too far.

From Route I-93

From I-93, take exit 26, and follow the signs to Back Bay along Storrow Drive West, approximately 1.5 miles, to the exit for Route 2A. The exit will be on the left, just before the Harvard Bridge (more appropriately called the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge). The Charles River will be on your right. As you cross the bridge, you will be looking at MIT - the Great Dome and academic facilities are on the right, the dormitories and athletic facilities are on the left.

by Hood blimp

Take the blimp to the tall building with all the glass windows (that would be the Hancock tower). Head north over the Charles River and have them put you down on top of the large, convex, concrete structure on the north shore of the river (that would be the Great Dome of MIT). Watch out for police cars on the roof.

Parking Suggestions

Parking in Cambridge and Boston is generally not an enjoyable experience. Whenever possible, park your car at the hotel at which you are staying, and use public transportation to get to the MIT campus. If you must drive to the campus, there are both on- and off-street parking available, but most public parking is not very close to the center of the MIT campus (unless you arrive early in the morning or late in the evening).

There is metered parking on Massachusetts Avenue. There are a number of lots at which you may park for a fee. These include Vassar St. Public Parking at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Vassar Street, University Park / Star Market Public Parking, and Marriott Parking Garage on Ames St. and Broadway.

 


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