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Robocon 2017 - Tasks at hand

Hi all – Prasanna here from MathWorks. Last week’s blog post we talked about the Robocon India contest at a high level. This week, we take a closer look at the task. The goal is to stack discs at the seven designated spots within three minutes. If you break down the tasks, you need to –

  • Identify a spot on the game field and throw a disc at that spot
  • Throw a disc at an initial velocity and angle
  • Knock-off the ball from the spot before stacking discs on the spot
  • Detect the current status of the game field. e.g. How many discs of different color are present on various spots etc.
  • Tune action plan based on the status of the game field


System Components


Robocon India 2017 System components


Each team will have a different strategy but will likely have the following components in the system:

  • Mechanical System (Disc-throwing mechanism)
    • Disc landing capability
    • Knocking-off capability
  • Computer Vision algorithm for
    • Color detection
    • Object detection
  • Hardware Implementation
    • Automatically generate code from MATLAB and Simulink on hardware
    • Mobile robot that is able to move around the throwing area


In future blogs, we will cover specific ways in which MathWorks tools help you to model individual components. If you want to benefit from these blog posts, basic understanding of MATLAB and familiarity with Simulink is a must.

Today, let us cover an introduction to MATLAB with the help of projectile motion example. Rahul Choudhary – from the training department at MathWorks has created an app. This app will help calculate key parameters for projectile motion while covering an introduction to MATLAB. Rahul has shared the script and the MATLAB app as an attachment to this blog post. We have also included a few tutorial videos that help you get started.




Last but not the least - remember - all Robocon India teams can get

  • Free access to MathWorks tools
  • Consultation with MathWorkers
  • A chance to win the much sought after MathWorks prize


Resources for getting started with MATLAB and Simulink


1. MATLAB hands-on tutorials

2. Simulink hands-on tutorials

3. Mechatronics with Simulink - hands-on videos


A conversation with Robocon-India contestants!

This is Prasanna Deshpande, I work as an Application Engineer at MathWorks Inc. For last few years I have loved the experience of working with Robocon India participants. This year, I would like to reach a wider audience with this blog. Here, I will share my thoughts, resources and discussion points.


What is Robocon and how is MathWorks involved?

Robocon (short for Robotic Contest) is organised by Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), a collection of over 20 countries of Asia Pacific Region [1]. Participating teams are expected to design and fabricate their own robots and organize their teams including an Instructor, Team Leader, Manual Robot Operator and an Automatic Robot Operator. Each year a new challenge is announced by the organizing body. National level competitions take place to pick a team that represents the country. In India, Mumbai Kendra of Doordarshan has been organising National Robocon since 2005 with support from co-hosts MIT Group of Educational Institutes. MathWorks has been involved as a sponsor for Robocon-India for last few years. Participating teams get free access to MathWorks tools along with a chance to win the MathWorks Robocon prize in addition to the Robocon award.


The final round is a brilliant show of technical expertise, team spirit and high-energy support from the audience. Every single year, I look forward to the D day. See a teaser from last year:


Let's start building and sharing!

It's been a few weeks since the release of the 2017 theme! What have you been up to? Do share your comments or questions. This year’s ABU Robocon will be held in 2017 Tokyo. Robocon, India will be organized and hosted by MIT AOE, Pune.  This year the theme is "Asobi: the Landing Disc". The theme revolves around the word “asobi” (play), which is also a fundamental philosophy behind Robocon. In “asobi,” playful, unique, original show of skills is often more important than winning or losing, as everyone – friend and foe alike – can applaud and enjoy them [1]. Check out the following video that outlines the challenge:


We have gone through the rule book and identified key components that you will need irrespective of the system design. My next blog post will be about these key components and related resources. We will also share relevant projects from the MATLAB Central community.


For now, I will leave you with some basic resources and discussion points. Would love to hear from you!


Resources for Robocon India 2017 [1]

MathWorks Resources (more on the way!)




[1] Robocon India website: