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The SumoBot is an advanced programmable robot kit that uses electronic sensors to move toward objects. SumoBots were first built in Japan in the 1990s for robot tournaments. The Parallax adaptation is a great way for intermediate robot enthusiasts to get started with competitive robot building. You will learn how to program your robot to engage another robot and attempt to flip it over or push it out of the ring. The PBASIC programming language is used to program the robot's response to objects and floor patterns detected by its sensors. It is then uploaded via serial cable from your home computer to the BASIC Stamp 2 microcontroller board. Simply power it up and watch it run! A solder-less breadboard is used to create sensor circuits or add LED indicators. Step-by-step instructions are included in the kit, and the BASIC Stamp programming software can be downloaded for free from Parallax. Two SumoBots are included, so they can be programmed to compete against each other.
This kit comes with two infrared (IR) sensors for detecting objects and two QTI sensors for distinguishing between light and dark patterns on the floor. The QTI sensors are capable of following a dark line on the floor or keeping the robot within a playing field marked with a light or dark line, such as the SumoBot ring. You get to determine how the SumoBot responds to the IR and QTI sensor readings, but some step-by-step examples are included in the 67 page instruction manual to help you get started. A 257 page manual on SumoBot performance optimization is also included, providing an additional 30 hours of instruction and examples. Experiment with different programming techniques, sensor adjustment, and mechanical optimization to make your robots perform at their best! Two independently controlled servo motors provide precise control of the robots' direction and speed.
The PBASIC programming language is used to control the microcontroller, which in turn controls the sensors and robot. PBASIC is a version of the BASIC programming language created by Parallax specifically for microcontroller programming. The BASIC Stamp programming software (compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems) can be downloaded for free from Parallax. This software is what you use to write your code and communicate with the robot's microcontroller. A serial cable is used to upload your BASIC code from your computer to the microcontroller. If you do not have a serial port on your computer, don't worry— a USB adapter is included.