To celebrate a return to in-person teaching in Fall 2021, I posted a bunch of hands-on projects, one of which was building combat robots. Response was huge, and over 20 students worked to build 6 combat robots that semester, and they fought, and it was pretty great. The club has grown ever since and we’ve been doing semesterly combat robot builds and competitions ever since!

Duke Combat Robotics provides students with unique opportunities to dive into hands-on iterative engineering design projects. Combat Robotics allows students to build on their foundation from classroom learning and small personal projects in a fun, collaborative, and innovative environment. Additionally, opportunities exist for internal and external competition, as well as course credit through independent study.

How does it work?

No prior engineering experience needed. Students work in groups of 2-4 and meet with me once a week to discuss progress. Outside of this, a few hours per week are needed to make good progress over time, especially if you’re new to robotics. Robots are “antweight” (max 1 lb.), and we use the SPARC combat robotics rules.

Students will prototype, design, build, and ultimately compete internally and externally with 1 lb. combat robots. Members will learn skills around selecting electrical and mechanical components/materials, developing control logic, electrical fabrication and diagnostics, mechanical fabrication, strategic thinking, and the engineering design process.

Do I get course credit?

Students may do this on a volunteer basis or for independent study credit (either ECE or EGR). Students seeking credit will go further than a basic combat robot (e.g., custom electronics, novel sensors, mechanical analysis, materials testing, etc.).

Is it pretty chill?


I’m interested! How do I learn more?

>>> Fill out this form and I’ll be in touch <<<

Alternately, I also posted this on Muser.

Questions? Email me at Tyler.Bletsch @ duke.edu.