Falling bars, a swinging hammer and objects on the track: anything to thwart your opponent! On Wednesday 30 May, TU Delft student teams will battle it out against each other with their self-built remote-controlled karts to see who can complete the most laps of the slalom racing track in 7 minutes.
Robokarts is a design competition for students at TU Delft. ‘Since January, various student teams have been working hard to design their own remote-controlled kart. The karts, about the size of a shoebox, are powered by electric motors and are equipped with various gadgets to thwart the opponents. In addition to other karts getting in the way, the track also features a number of obstacles that the karts need to dodge, such as doors which constantly open and close,’ explains Bob van der Windt, Mechanical Engineering student and member of the Robokarts organisation team.
‘About a year ago we got the idea to give engineering students a more practical challenge they could get their teeth into alongside their studies. Inspired by Mario Kart, we decided to organise a competition where teams design a robot equipped with gadgets and other features to impede other teams’ progress, but we wanted the focus to be on tactics, speed and strategy. With this in mind, Robokarts was born – a mix of speed, action and racing strategy.’
The teams, consisting of 6-10 people, have spent the last few months working fanatically and they have also completed a number of test runs. ‘It’s great to see that they have come up with very different strategies, especially when it comes to gadgets,’ says Van der Windt. ‘Some teams have made their kart super robust, almost like a tank, while other teams have prioritised agility. And they’ve come up with a range of gadgets, too, like falling bars, swinging hammers, and the ability to drop hooks or stones on the track.’
The karts ride three at a time around a slalom track in 7-minute heats. One person per team steers the kart and another person controls the gadgets. The team that completes the most laps in 7 minutes wins.
The Robokarts competition is open to the public: Wednesday 30 May from 17:00 to 21:00, with the final taking place around 19:00. The race will be held at the TU Delft Construction Campus. Press representatives are welcome to come and watch the Robokarts competition.