autonomous hockey-playing robots

December 12, 2013

Over the course of one month, our team of three designed, fabricated, and coded three fully-autonomous robots who were able to play “robockey” (analogous to ice hockey). The size constraints and various other puck holding constraints drove the design of each of the bots. I was responsible for the design and fabrication of the robots, while my other two partners were responsible for electrical framework and artificial intelligence (coding), respectively. The project culminates with the annual robockey tournament where 28 teams compete in a bracket challenge; our team (A.K.A. “Los Bandidos”) finished in 3rd place.

The 7 minute video (below) will give you more insight into our mechanical design considerations, competition, and our fighting "robockey" players in action.

Video synopsis:

  • Project background - 0:00
  • Robot features - 0:24
  • Robots in action - 1:17

El Tiburon

All of our three robots have a similar robust design, that consists of stacked acrylic with embedded wheels and casters for stability. The phototransistors embedded in the acrylic contribute to their puck-finding capabilities. Our goalkeeper (below) is the lightest of the three, and is primarily responsible for finding the puck and getting between it and the goal.


Our two offensive players were similar. They both feature a solenoid kicker in the front to fire the puck. Additionally, a sheet metal lance was quickly created amidst tournament gameplay to combat a team that had magnetically-conjoining robots. The design decision worked favorably in the end.