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Mac RoboMasters to compete in Robotics Competition in Shenzhen, China July 2, 2019

On July 24th, the Mac RoboMaster team will be flying to Shenzhen, China to compete in their first RoboMaster Robotics Competition. 

The team of undergraduate students have been preparing for the competition since January. In only a few months, they built and optimized a squad of five robots designed to perform various tasks in an arena. 

With the glory of being named “RoboMaster” and more than $600,000 in prize money up for grabs, the competition is fierce. In the arena-battle style competition, teams must navigate a battlefield to find and launch projectiles at their opponents. 

“This opportunity means we are able to shine on a world’s stage representing McMaster University,” says Jarvis Wang, the team’s PR Manager. “As the newest team, it is remarkable for us to have achieved such a goal.”

The annual competition will bring together more than 170 teams from across the globe, including 24 from North America. McMaster is one of four Canadian universities participating in the competition. 

Each robot has an armour plate that detects hit data, resulting in lowered robot health. Teams compete in seven-minute matches to be the first to destroy the enemy’s home base or have the highest end health to win. The robots are either controlled in first person or autonomous. 

One of the biggest design challenges the team faced was training their AI to recognize enemy armour plates and process the image without a large delay. After enhancing their CV (computer vision) algorithm, upgrading their hardware and using a predictive control model, the CV now has an accuracy of over 85 per cent and can be deployed in the competition. 

The competition takes place near HuaQiangBei, the “Silicon Valley of Hardware,” a major electronics manufacturing hub located in Shenzhen. 

 "This trip will be able to provide us with the exact opportunity to not only look into the professional engineering settings abroad, but also understand how engineering principles are performed in other schools as well,” says Wang. 

 The RoboMasters Robotics Competition was started in 2015 by DJI

Wang encourages students of all experience levels to join the team to explore topics and gain skills not always taught in the classroom. Follow the team on Instagram to stay updated on their progress.