Open to all USF students, the Robotics Interest Group (RIG) focuses on sharing knowledge about designing and building robotic devices, promoting robotics in the area, and representing USF in robotics competitions.
One of RIG’s major focuses is on combat robotics. Popularized by the TV show Battlebots, combat robotics involves a competition where two robots enter an enclosed arena, and fight for a set period of time or until one of the robots has been disabled. Through designing and working on these robots, students learn the principles of design, manufacturing, and programming.
RIG first competed at the 2009 Battlebots IQ Nationals with the 15lb robot ‘Quasar.’ That year they won the rumble competition and placed well in documentation of the build process. In 2010 RIG members competed with the robot ‘Gruff’ in the 220 lb heavyweight division at the Combots Cup V earning USF mention in the robotics magazine Servo. In 2011, RIG won two bronze metals in the 3lb autonomous combat and 30lb combat divisions at the International Robogames. Gruff again competed in the heavyweight division, and was featured on a Science Channel Special, Killer Robots: Robogames 2011. The same year, RIG also placed first at the NRL Nationals with the debut of 15 lb robot ‘The Brain’. In 2012 RIG placed first in both the 3lb and 120lb divisions at the Combots Cup VII.
At this year’s Mini Maker Faire, RIG will be demonstrating their championship robots and others, from the tiny 150g ‘I Kid’ to the 120lb ‘Ziege’.