|« Albert », the bulimic robot||Tweeter|
Eurobot is a competition aiming to develop young people's interest in robotics and scientific subjects. Amateur teams each year construct an autonomous robot whose tasks are defined in the regulations: sorting out waste, sorting balls of different colours, putting together wooden constructions, or collecting components of different forms and store them in a container.
Albert and the creativity prize 2010.
© ULg J.-F. Degbomont
C'est dans un esprit de fair-play et de solidarité que les robots des différentes équipes s'affrontent sur une table de jeu d'environ 2 mètres sur 3 dans des parties qui durent 90 secondes. L'équipe ayant le plus de points gagne la rencontre. La compétition nationale belge se déroule au Parc d'Aventures Scientifiques de Mons et réunit des équipes de diverses universités et associations indépendantes. Ce concours permet aux équipes de se qualifier au concours international, se déroulant environ un mois plus tard.
Since 2007, under the tutelage of Professor Bernard Boigelot, a ULg team, the Eurobot Montefiore Team, bringing together assistants, researchers and students, has participated in the competition by developing a competitive robot.
In 2008 the robot called Frida <lien vers la news de l'époque > lifted itself into second place in the Belgian competition, thus permitting the team to take part in the international competition which occurred in Heidelberg, in Germany.
The Ulg's Eurobot Montefiore Team 2010.
© ULg J.-F. Degbomont
This year, the robot called Albert reached as far as the quarter finals of the Belgian competition. In addition to this already brilliant result the ULg team received the creativity prize for its innovative and highly developed robot. The ULg's Eurobot Montefiore Team is thus amongst the three teams selected to represent Belgium in the international competition, taking place at Rapperswil-Jona, in Switzerland, from 28 to 30 May 2010.
A robot is an entity uniting varied skills domains: mechanics, electronics, digital and analog fields, power, computer technology, control, image recognition, etc. The construction of a robot is thus a long drawn out task requiring great co-ordination. That is why a team of 16 students, 4 researchers and a professor have been working on producing Albert since the month of October 2009.
Albert is around 35 centimetres high and has a hemicircular shape. It contains over ten circuit boards - each one fitted with at least one microcontroller - and an expert system, resulting from a coupling of two operating systems.
Albert and his arm in extended articulation.
© ULg C. Dejardin
From a mechanical point of view, Albert contains two direct current locomotion motors and no less than nine digital servomotors. Seven of these servomotors are assembled end to end to form an articulated arm.
This year the components of the game were juggling balls weighing 150g and 300g as well as cylinders of 250g. To win it was necessary to collect these components, scattered over the gaming area, and to bring them over to and place them in a container. The robot which had placed the greatest weight in its container at the end of the 90 seconds won the match.
A concentration of scientific work <titre 3>
Not content with participating for their enjoyment and in a very friendly atmosphere, the students and researchers thus pushed forward their scientific research in varied domains. In effect, this year, three students have carried out their end of degree research work on Albert. Furthermore, the triangulation system Albert is equipped with is the central interest of an article produced by one of the researchers involved in the project.
In total, since the team's first participation in the competition, no fewer than 7 end of degree research work projects have been carried out in the context of taking part in Eurobot.
Indispensible partnerships <titre 3>
The budget required for such an undertaking is a substantial one. That is why various partnerships are essential and the team would like to thank of all its partners: Agoria, l'AILg, l'AIM, Arcelor Mittal, the National Lottery, the Fernand Pisart Fund, Technifutur, Tractebel Engineering Suez.