A robotics competition is an event where the robots made by different engineers or scientists face off. Individual events can vary, but usually the robots compete to determine which one can perform the given tasks the fastest and most accurately. In order for engineers to adequately prepare their robots, there are five main tips to keep in mind. These include using a relatively simple design, using simple hardware, performing extensive testing beforehand, bringing along spare parts, and bringing along back up robots.
A big part of creating a successful robot is to not over-complicate the design. While it's great to push the boundaries of science, for a competition it's usually best to keep it simple. It's therefore smart to pick only a task or few tasks for the robot to perform while being judged. Focusing on a limited number of tasks helps to ensure that a robot functions as it should.
Another important part of competing in a robotics competition is sticking with simple hardware. For example, it's usually best to use a maximum of two types of nuts or bolts. Keeping the hardware simple will make it easier and quicker to make repairs or changes to the robot if necessary. Otherwise, there is a strong potential for complications if anything goes wrong with the robot during competition.
Performing extensive testing should also be done before ever entering any robotics competition. Getting fully acquainted with one's robot and testing its abilities are essential for a winning performance. That's why it's so important to figure out what any problem areas are and make the appropriate adjustments beforehand. Doing so should optimize the robot's functioning for competition and increase the odds of winning.
Bringing along some spare parts is another way to stay ahead of the competition. No matter how much planning is done ahead of time and no matter how many precautions are taken, there is always the possibility of a mechanical failure. This is why it's imperative to bring along some spare parts in case something needs to be replaced. While it may take some extra time to create those parts initially, the peace of mind will be well worth it.
An additional tip for a robotics competition is to bring along at least one entire spare robot. In case the original has a meltdown and can't be replaced by spare parts, having a back up can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing. For this reason, it's a good idea to create an alternate robot while assembling the original.