Anas Alhashimi, graduate student and member of the new robotics club together with Georgios Nikolakopoulos, Associate senior Lecturer

Newly Formed Robotics Club Enter Competition

Published: 23 October 2012

At LTU around 25 people, ranging from PhDs to gymnasium students, have formed a new robotics club in order to compete in the international competition ‘Robot Challenge’, taking place in the Austrian capital Vienna early next year.

- So far there are not so many activities in this field on the school. But I want to create more robotics so students can learn and understand this exciting field in science better, says Georgios Nikolakopoulos, Associate Senior Lecturer on the Department of Computer Science, Electric and Space Engineering (SRT) and organizer behind the club.

The project goes, so far under the name ICEBOT and will cost around 10 000 SEK, plus eventual travelling fees back and forth to the competition.

- The deadline for the competition is in Mars. Our team hopes to assemble our first platform for the robot next month so they can start embedding it with programming algorithms.

Eight Ph. D students, eight undergrads and even four gymnasium students are involved in the project. And the optimism is booming, says Georgios.

- Even if we don’t manage the deadline, we will enter in another competition, there are so many. The idea is to have fun and learn about robotics, not just to compete.

The Robot Challenge consists of several different objectives of robotic challenges. The Luleå team has chosen to enter the line-follower event, where a robot has to follow a certain route, a line on the floor, in as short amount of time as possible. Sometimes obstacles are laid out on the line that the robot has to handle and circumvent.

- It is a simple robot to construct, the robot have two main-wheels and is driven by a differential drive mechanism. We have bought a basic robotic platform where the students will focus on embedding intelligent algorithms for following the lines, says Georgios Nikolakopoulos.

He hopes to retain the Robotics Club, after the competition is held, and he is currently seeking for a permanent location where the members can gather and experiment together.

- I’ve talked with Jonas Ekman, the head of our department, and he supports our endeavor.

Georgios Nikolakopoulos is also seeking grant money from the mining corporation LKAB. In order to create a Robotic football team, a more advanced form of competition.

- A lot of prestigious universities already have their own team. And I hope we can get funding to form our own. The Robotics club is a continuation activity, no deadlines, no formalities, people can hop in and hop off based on their free time and their interests. If someone wants to join I would recommend him to contact me at any time, so simple, so fast, says Georgios Nikolakopoulos.