Robots Face Off in Caltech's "Raiders of the Lost Can" Competition

Published : Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | 3:57 AM

Winning team James Bern, Justin Koch, Matthew Queen and Monica Enlow


Over twenty weeks with an $800 budget, six teams of Caltech mechanical engineer students built flying and wheeled robots to compete in an ultimate face off of the robots called “Raiders of the Lost Can” on Tuesday.

Team “40 Pc Chicken McNuggets” reigned victoriously after several long dueling matches that required quick thinking and problem solving by the student engineers competing in the 29th Annual Engineering Design Contest.

“It feels like the justification of two terms worth of work. These guys have put in so much time, so much dedication and I am so proud to call them my teammates. Our opponents put up a good fight. They were worthy opponents for a final round. I’m just ecstatic that we one,” Monica Enlow of the winning team said.

Enlow’s teammates included students James Bern, Justin Koch, and Matthew Queen. They held onto the opponents can long enough to capture the win.

Entering the championship undefeated, 40 Pc Chicken McNugget nearly lost it all when the scrappy Cunning Stunts played strategic defensive by stealing the opponents can in the semi final and holding onto it until just before the buzzer.

In the double-elimination competition, the goal of the competitors involved retrieving an empty can and placing the can nearest a five-foot platform.

About 200 Pasadena Unified School District students attended the competition as spectators. Sierra Madre, Blair, Wilson, Elliot, McKinnley, and Marshall students who are studying robotics spent a full day at Caltech touring labs, learning about neuroscience and observing the dueling robots.

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