What could be more fun than little, autonomous fighting robots?


We are so excited to be hosting a SumoBot competition at our Melbourne MakerSpace! It took about 5 months to pull all of the hardware design, coding and logistics together in order to make this event happen. One of our members lead the way by building and programming “Treddy Roosevelt” and FedEx’ing his robot out of state to a competition, which he won! That was possible because they are autonomous (no remote-control allowed). We were excited to bring the competition home; but the first major stumbling block: he spent over $100 on his robot; this cost would be too high of a bar for many of our members to participate.



In our best Maker fashion, we collaborated on multiple iterations of prototype kits. We compared standard and micro-servos and various gear-head motors and gear boxes. There was a strong tug-of-war between cost and performance. We also struggled over choosing ease of assembly versus sophistication of design. The age/skill of the builder split our efforts into 2 paths: novice (which also includes pre-teens) and intermediate to advanced. This resulted in 2 models:  The one on the left is based on dual gear-head motors, a motor driver shield, a CO2 Laser-cut Birch hobby plywood frame and the Arduino Uno. The one on the right is based on micro-servos and an Arduino Nano and a 3D printed chassis. Thanks to E-Bay and careful design either kit comes in at about $25 USD.


I should mention that we LOVE Pololu! Their ZumoBot is the one to beat; and it would certainly beat our budget bots. Their robot is worth every penny. We just needed a robot kit every member could afford.

The One to Beat


Link to Pololu ZumoBot

Other MakerSpaces and Makers!

You do not have to invest months reinventing the wheel. We offer all of our design efforts to anybody, because:

“Knowledge is for the good of humanity and is meant to be shared!”

This is our commitment to Open Source and to the greater Maker Community.


SumoBot Rules

Yes, there are globally recognized rules to promote fair and consistent SumoBot competition. Please see our wiki page for lots of information. The size of the arena, the size and weight of the robots. The 5 second delay before they begin. For mini class they must fit in a 10cm X 10cm square (no vertical limit).

Wiki Link