This morning at Lego Robotics, the Mindstorm NX-1s were set against one another in a series of sumo battles. They had to try to push another robot off the mat, which is black with a 2-inch-wide silver strip around the edge. The teams were given ten minutes to modify their bots for combat, by removing any unnecessary parts (if something falls off you lose) and strengthening them with bull-bars and so forth. Marcus and Nicholas had already fine tuned their operating program, so their bot (Nº 10) went full steam ahead on black, but when it reached the silver stopped, reversed, then turned 135°. This turned out to be a pretty good strategy. Nº 10 still looked pretty much as it had last week though - a bit weedy.
They won their first bout, against a stronger looking bot that only went forwards and back. Nº 10 caught it at just the right angle and biffed it off the mat. Next there was a thrilling battle between two very well-matched bots that had hold of each other and circled for some minutes. This sounds boring but it was quite tense. Finally one got the better of the other, and lurched forward, heaving it's foe off the mat.
When Marcus and Nicholas had their next bout they were up against a tank-like arrangement with a sort of shovel nose. The shovel got under Nº 10's wheels and he went upside down - the end.
Next week the robots need to cook a meal for a family of four in under 20 minutes, for less than $10 a head.