Robotex 2016 – how we totally failed and why it’s also very useful

Years are not the same. So it happened – none of our supported 7 teams reached award ceremony podium this year at Robotex 2016. But that’s okay, because we had so much to learn from it.

„Comparing our results with previous successful year, we have a lot o learn about,“ summarizes Uptime CTO Raimo Seero, what happened at Robotex 2016. „Our supported teams had not reached to top first three places (the best place was 6th), but nevertheless we have a very good feeling,“ is Raimo fulfilled. „We got some very good lessons.“

„Real innovation comes not from evolution, but from revolution,“ says Uptime CTO after a short thinking break, if asked, what gone wrong this time. „We tuned our robots better than last years – they ran LEGO line following cource at record time – in less than 13 secs, last year it was 21 seconds. But important lesson comes from italian teams. They took three best places with amazing 6-7 seconds results. This gave us a lesson, that it´s very important to think „outside the box“. It´s just not enough to fine tune your existing robot.“

robotex 2016 - Saku tiim stardis
Uptime supported Saku team members ad LEGO line following.

Italian teams attended Robotex 2016 with some older LEGO robots – some details were even from 1990ies, they used diferent design and construction. Italians thought „outside the box“. Even if starting a robot from pushbutton took some seconds more than usual, their robot followed the line after that in amazing 6-7 seconds. All others left far behind. Speed and orientation was better thanks to a moving front head, that turned to left and right in curves.

„It´s great if You visit student´s robotic challenge contest and You can remember the old truth, that for being much better than others (for instance, if you are entering to foreign market with your company), it´s not enough to just do a bit better and try harder,“ adds Raimo Seero, „You must be ready to think completely „outside the box“ and take risks to be a lot better than others.“

Robotex 2016, Saku team
Members of Saku Center of Interest team at Robotex 2016.

Uptime supported 6 teams from Saku Center of Interest. Two of them competed at Folkrace, two at LEGO line following challenge and two at LEGO Sumo.

Uptime also supported Kostivere school girls team at Robotex 2016 LEGO line following challenge.

Robotex 2016 Kostivere tüdrukutetiim
Kostivere school girls team at Robotex 2016.

„This time the results were worse than last year,“ recognizes Kostivere team instructor Kuldar Saaremäe, „reason was delayed contest time, and because of that, zero ring was skipped and we had no opportunity to improve our results. But our team members liked the most fresh pies from Uptime right on time, when girls were tired and needed something for a snack.“

Kostivere tüdrukutetiimi robot stardis
Kostivere girls team and LEGO robot on starting line.

Kostivere LEGO robot received completely new design this year and partly re-programmed software. Kuldar Saaremäe concludes the experience with two lessons they learned: „ First, don´t change anything immediately before the contest. Second – You need at least two programs for robot just in case if something happens.“

The main goal was fulfilled in Robotex 2016 for all: interest to robotics – generated, robots were improved better than before and that´s just what contestants and supporters needed.

Uptime will certainly be back in next Robotex because we learned so much at this event. We can´t stop now. Uptime supported seven teams who competed in Robotex 2016 with Uptime red T-shirts.

Robotex 2016

16 000 robotics enthusiasts – powerful platform for the future

European biggest and probably second largest robotics contest in the world had 16 000 visitors in Tallinn this year. Robotics challenge is held at Tallinn Technical University sports hall every year.

There were 23 contests with 912 robots from 20 countries, 1803 contestants were from Estonia, followed 145 from Latvia and 88 from Lithuania. Youngest contestant was 4 years old, oldest 69.

Robotex at TTU

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