PASADENA ( — Robots are set to battle on land and in the air at one of the Southland’s most prestigious learning institutions.

KNX 1070’s Jan Stevens reports students taking part in the 29th annual Caltech Robotic Competition will be vying for a passing grade, as well as bragging rights.

Six teams of mechanical engineering students will put their creations to the test for the competition, in which robotic vehicles must climb or fly and mount an aerial assault with the goal of getting empty soup cans into an elevated five-foot target platform – and to prevent or obstruct the other team’s robot from reaching the platform.

Sean Keenan and Brandon Robinson, who are members of one of the six teams this year said they’re confident at least one of their robots — a quadcopter and a two-wheeled ground vehicle — will emerge victorious in the “Raiders of the Lost Can” battle.

“You start out with a design and you find out that parts of it don’t work, it’s not getting up the ramp, which is one of the constraints of the competition,” Robinson said. “You essentially have to build multiple; you have to iterate on your design.”

Known as ME-72, the engineering design contest is the final project and core requirement for all Caltech Mechanical Engineering majors.

The event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. at Caltech’s Brown Gym.


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