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Three NCKU Teams Win Big at the 2019 TEL Robot Combat・NCKU 2030 for SDGs
Three NCKU Teams Win Big at the 2019 TEL Robot Combat
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          In 2019, Tokyo Electron Limited (TEL) organized the TEL Robot Combat event. Three student teams from National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), namely The End Game is Getting Rich (總目標是發大財), Déjà vu, and Bright Asparagus Juice (晶晶蘆筍汁), participated in the contest and received Outstanding Creative Technology Award, received Honorable Mention in Creative Technology, and became a Creative Technology finalist, respectively, thus marking the outstanding performance of NCKU students in the contest.

          The members of The End Game is Getting Rich were fourth-year electrical engineering students Chen Yueh-ting, Li To-sheng, and Hsieh Wen-Yen and fourth-year mechanical engineering student Huang Chen-wei. The team was awarded the Outstanding Award for Creative Technology for a stylistic video presenting the process through which they created their robot. During TEL preliminary phase of robot combat, teams were required to submit a proposal for approval before constructing their robot. Team member Li stated that the team considered many ambitious ideas when brainstorming during this preparatory phase; after many discussions and trials, they created a cleaning robot that could move with agility across flat spaces.

          Their video demonstrated how the robot could assist humans in their daily lives. Controlled by a mobile app, the cleaning robot easily scooped up crumpled up toilet paper and then rapidly climbed uphill to deposit the toilet paper into the waste basket. Team captain Chen recalled that the team members did not argue during the collaborative process. Some parts of the preliminary design were realized, but other parts had to be abandoned. However, throughout the continuous process of trial and improvements, Li believed they “learned many things that aren’t usually taught in class.”

          Fourth-year electrical engineering students Chan Chun-hao, Pan Hsin-yu, Hsu Yi-yun, and Huang Pin-hsuan, who formed Team Déjà vu, received the Honorable Mention in Creative Technology. Team captain Chan recalled that to make a breakthrough with their hardware, the team once went for 33 consecutive hours without sleeping. To enter the contest, the team had to adjust and improve on the original design when constructing their robot, and they simultaneously filmed their work progress. During this process, team member Huang realized that “the actual construction was different from the design,” and Chan also stated that “DIY construction of a robot was not as easy as I imagined.”

          Electrical engineering professor Cheng Ming-yang was the adviser for teams The End Game is Getting Rich and Déjà vu. The teams included electrical engineering and interdisciplinary students. Team member knowledge was optimized through requisite electrical engineering course assignments; after moving to the next level, the students commenced practical construction of robots and test runways. These students spent their extracurricular time testing and gradually revising their robots’ performance in the hallways and labs of the Electrical Engineering department and in their dormitories. The creation process was constantly documented through video recordings. To assist students and encourage successful participation in the contest, Professor Cheng held intensive discussions with the students and provided venues and equipment to enable the students to test their robots.

          TEL was founded in 1963 and is a global leader in the manufacture of equipment for semiconductors and flat panel displays. TEL’s Taiwan subsidiary, Tokyo Electro Taiwan (TEL Taiwan) has organized the TEL Robot Combat since 2016, and this was the fourth such event. The contest continues the spirit of previous events by emphasizing the contestants’ experiences in electrical integration and optimizing the competition’s structure. Competing teams design and construct a robot equipped to negotiate a robot obstacle course. This tests the teams’ creative ideation and technological performance, as well as the mobility, object identification, accuracy, and stability of the robots.