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Vex IQ Education Kit (2nd gen)

Sumo Bot

Robot Sumo is a fun game where two robots compete in a ring to see which one can be the first to push the other one outside of the ring. This model adds an angled plow to the front of the Line Follower to make a simple but effective Sumo Bot.

The driving can be autonomous, remote control, or a combination of both, and the sample programs below will get you started with all three possibilities. You can then modify both the robot design and the programs to try to get an advantage over your opponent.

You can make up your own rules for how sumo matches work, but click on the picture gallery above to see the image descriptions for some tips and ideas, and also see the notes below.

Building Instructions

3-Wheel Base

Line Follower

Sumo Bot


Playing Robot Sumo

You can make up your own rules for how to play Robot Sumo, but here are some suggestions that I have found work well.


1. You can build a sumo ring in a variety of ways, including just blue painter's tape on a light colored floor. A circle of about 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter works well, or a rectangular area of simiar area, and you can mark the border with tape (an octagon or 16-sided figure works well and is easy to make), or you can go all out and make a custom board with a painted border. If your surface is dark, you can also use a light-colored border and modify the program to sense the lines the other way.  Depending on what surface and line colors you end up with, be prepared to use the "Measure Light" program in the Line Follower project to measure your light levels and adjust your programs as necessary.

2. Decide whether you are playing autonomously, remote controlled, or a hybrid/combo. Give all of them a try to experience the unique challenges. In a hybrid/combo, use the "Sumo Auto Time" program to run autonomously for a time limit (e.g. 20 seconds), then have the players switch to a remote control program without moving or repositioning their robot then wait for the go signal to start the remote controlled portion together.

3. Each robot team is free to modify the design of the robot or the programs to try to make an advantage. For best results, you can set a weight limit and overall size limit for the robot. Weight is a key factor in Robot Sumo. To encourage modifying the programs and thinking about strategy, I suggest allowing players to select a different program (from ones they have prepared and already downloaded to the robot) depending on their starting position in a round, which opponent they are facing, etc.

4. Each robot team should pick a unique color and modify the program(s) to display that color on the TouchLED (or use some colored parts if you have some).

5. A match is between two robots and is the best two out of three rounds. See the images above for suggested starting positions. You can put a time limit on the round if you want, which may result in a tie if nobody wins.

6. A round is over when a robot goes outside the ring so that no part of the robot is touching the line or the area inside the ring. Driving out accidentally is the same as being pushed out. It is helpful to have a referee to make the outside calls as well as give the "Go" signal to start.

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