Strategy and Theme

Game Strategy
We began our process with a brainstorm of possible strategies our robot could use to efficiently and effectively hit off all the hats it was assigned. We divided the challengeing into two sections: (1) locating the target we were assigned and (2) knocking off the specified hat. From our initial discussions, it became clear that there were two basic routes we could take for the first section, locating the target:

Locating the Target

Tape Centered
The tape centered strategy involved finding the tape and referencing it to locate the targets. Sensors could include tape sensors to see floor tape alongside IR sensors to verify when a column was seen.


Wall Following
The wall following strategy involved referencing the wall to locate the targets. Sensors could be limit switch bumpers, tape sensors which measured reflectivity as walls were approached, or IR sensors to see the columns.


Knocking Off the Hat

We played around with several shooting strategies, including a ball dropped onto a spinning wheel and a linkage that hit a ball. We decided to focus our attention away from shooting solutions due to the accuracy necessary with a shooting solution.




We soon focused our attention onto slapping mechanisms. Our solutions ranged from two separate sweeping levers to one adjustable sweeping lever to four bar linkages that could collapse into the space and then extend far enough to hit the hat.

Slapper 1



After a bit of linkage prototyping, we began to look into punching mechanisms. We began with cam inspired mechanisms, which we prototyped in CAD, but soon realized they were difficult to constrain in the space limitations of our robot. As a result, we explored a rack and pinion punching solution, which worked beautifully! However, given the time constraints we decided to pursue a more reliable solution involving a servo motor with balls strung upon a wire. Check out our Prototypes page if you want to see our arm iterations.

Theme: Alice in Wonderland
In evaluating our hat knocking options, we soon settled upon a non -shooting solution due to the accuracy challenges associated with shooting. After we made the decision to physically slap or punch the hats off the columns, we naturally decided to name ourselves after Alice in Wonderland in honor of the Queen of Hearts and her propensity to behead.