UBC Thunderbots: Help us defend first place with new robots!


Raised $10,449

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UBC Thunderbots: Help us defend first place with new robots!

Help us build a new fleet of eight robots to defend our title at RoboCup 2020! Each robot costs upwards of $3,000 and that’s why we need your help.

Story Description

UBC Thunderbots is a student-led team that designs and builds autonomous soccer-playing robots to compete at Robocup. At RoboCup 2019, UBC Thunderbots won first place in the 6 vs 6 Small-Size Soccer Division, becoming the first Canadian team to achieve a first-place finish in any league at RoboCup. We overcame talent from USA, Japan, France, Brazil, and more. You can learn more about RoboCup at robocup.org

Robotic soccer is pushing the limits of autonomous control and robot AI. Our robots react to a constantly changing field 60 times a second, avoiding collisions with enemy robots, intercepting fast-moving balls, and scoring goals!

For RoboCup 2020, the team plans to design and build an entirely new fleet of robots. We will use our knowledge from past competitions to make significant mechanical and electrical improvements to stay ahead of the competition. Our new generation will double our existing capabilities to reach robot speeds of 3.5m/s (12.6km/h) and dribbling speeds of over 1,500 RPM.

Challenges & Impact of Your Support

A smart AI is nothing without talented players to execute its strategies. That’s why we are building a new and improved team to take our gameplay to the next level. Your contribution will enable the team to reach its full potential and put forward the best possible robots in 2020!

One of our team’s biggest challenges is purchasing the very specialized, small, and powerful motors needed to fit inside the size limit. These motors cost over $250 each for a total of $10,000 to complete our fleet. All funds raised will go directly to purchasing new and more powerful motors for our robots.

About Thunderbots

Thunderbots is an entirely student-run engineering design team of over 50 highly motivated students from a variety of disciplines and academic years. We began designing our very first robots in 2006 and first qualified for competition in 2009. The team has participated in every RoboCup since, and achieved a first-place finish in 2019. Each year, UBC Thunderbots brings innovation and enthusiasm to the international robotics scene. We make UBC and Canada proud.

Our members work tirelessly to improve the team, while simultaneously developing skills that equip them to make meaningful contributions, and to become more flexible and adaptable when integrating to any team, both as students and as professionals. The team’s continued success would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our student members.

Our team is part of a growing international network of academic research groups, pushing the boundaries of state-of-the-art robotics and autonomous intelligent systems. New projects this year include designing specialized circuits for motor control, integrating state of the art wireless communication, and adding complex strategies to our AI. Our team is always pushing our boundaries to improve and keep ahead of the competition.