The Midwest Robotics Design Competition (MRDC) is held every year at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The competition rules change every year, but it always centers around manipulating objects on a course to score points. Four robots are in the arena at a time, competing in what very quickly becomes a full contact sport.
In 2018, Valpo Robotics had one of the most successful years. Ernie finished second in the competition, and Marvin finished third and won the Most Innovative Design Award. This course included a Simon Says game and a rope pull for the robots. The tasks were to collect foam balls and soccer balls and then climb up onto a platform to deposit the balls in a bin. Ernie went for the soccer balls while Marvin was able to climb up a wall to deposit foam balls. Read more in the Recap here.
In past years, the 2016 season featured large cannons that could be triggered to launch foam balls across the arena, which must be scored in a central rotating bin. This bin was inside a walled off area that could only be accessed through doors which proved quite difficult to open. Inside this closed off area were also golf ball dispensers, which could be activated by turning a knob to release the balls. Outside the arena were boxes that these could also be scored in. Valpo Robotics submitted 4 robots this year, and took home 3rd place and the Most Innovative Design Award!