You have been asked by a popular game company to develop handheld soccer bots for a new indoor game for two players. A soccer bot is a robot that plays soccer. For this game, players score goals by hitting a small ball into the opposing “net”. (Psst. You are Player 1. Who is Player 2?) Check out this video to see the game being played: https://youtu.be/9NViVG80CHI
Engineers play an important role in sports, specifically in the design of equipment (e.g., badminton rackets, shin guards, baseball bats) and attire (e.g., swimsuits, socks). Here is a video to learn more:
The next time you play your favorite sport, think about how an engineer might have been involved in designing the equipment you are using!
Each player will have the following:
Two players will share:
What comes to mind when you hear “research”? As an engineer, sometimes research includes examining products that already exist. On the following pages, we have included images of soccer bots for you to “research.”
Sketch 2-3 different designs of soccer bots and make a list of material for each design. How are your designs based on your research? What new characteristics did you include in your designs?
Let’s explore! Use what you learned from the previous low-tech kit to test your motor.
Pick one of your designs from Step 2 and build the soccer bot. You can only use materials in the kit or anything around your home. This video shows how to connect arms to the motor—
How is your prototype different from Player 2?
Use electrical tape to mark the position of the midfield and place the two nets at the end. How far apart will you make the two nets? How did you make this decision? How will prevent the ball from flying across the room?
Design a net for the bot to “kick” a ping pong ball through. How big should the net be?
Use your soccer bot to kick a ping pong ball from one net to the other (see https://youtu.be/d4ab_09rIjs for an example).
Make any changes and continue to test your bot until you are satisfied with how the bot kicks the ball.
Watch this video for the first two rules
Is your bot able to kick the ball into the opposite net when another player is pre-sent? What improvements might be made? Why do you think this? Make any changes and test your bot again through playing the game. (Psst. The soccer bot can have multiple arms.)
The game company would like for you to develop additional games that can be played with the handheld soccer bots. Develop at least one new game with different rules from the one you just played. Is this game fair? Be sure to test the game. Would you change the rules after playing the game? Explain.
Sports engineering is a newer engineering field. They are concerned with the research and development of technologies for the sports industry—equipment and environment. A common trait of sports engineers are their love for sports and passion for science and technology. Many sports engineers have a background as a mechanical or materials engineer. Sports engineers earn about $53.98 per hour. How much do they earn in a year?