Finally, a Stanley Cup for puck nerds
For their final exams, 14 teams of engineering students will pit prototype hockey robots against each other on a “rink” surface to battle for control of the puck and score goals in a net.We may be seeing the early developement here of the real "Blade Runners" of future hockey.
The event is the culmination of Physics 253, a 13-week crash course in practical design modeled on similar courses at MIT and Stanford. Students learn the basics of electro-mechanical design and then apply that knowledge to construct their robots from scratch.
The students have spent the last six weeks building the autonomous robots to be fast, accurate and, most importantly, capable of taking knocks from their opponents. The robots are preprogrammed and no remote control will be allowed in the competition.
Each match will last two minutes and the robot that scores the most goals wins. Although the students have been encouraged to design their robots to carry on the great Canadian traditions of scoring goals and pummeling opponents, course instructor Andre Marziali, a UBC Physics professor, will call penalties on any hockey-bots that catch fire during the competition.