The annual Fire Fighting Robot Competition sponsored by Trinity College has been an exciting event for several years. Robot hobbyists and professionals of all ages from all parts of the world gather to compete and show off their creations. The goal of the event seems simple: Navigate a model house floorplan, find a lit candle, and extinguish it. As simple as this may sound, it is an intricate process to construct a device which can accomplish such a task.
There are a vast number of design options and operating techniques that can be explored. This year, I decided to create my own, and I documented the process online. As the contests web page states , a primary purpose of the contest is to “provide an incentive for the robotics community to develop what will be a practical application for a real-world robot”. Although the contest is merely a simulation of a real-world scenario, it requires the designers to use practical techniques to create useful designs. The competition serves as an example of what robots can do on a larger scale.