Founded in 2003, under the supervision of Professor Marco Antônio Meggiolaro, PhD from MIT, Rio Botz is the robotics team of PUC-Rio, a university in Rio de Janeiro. We design, optimize and construct mechanical structures, locomotion systems and actuators. Although we focus on combat robots, our research group has also developed systems for the medical, military and oil and energy industries. At RioBotz, undergraduate and graduate students apply the knowledge acquired during the lessons in the real world. We are mainly composed of students of electrical engineering, mechanics and control and automation, having also students of administration, communication and design, increasing our contact with several areas.
Advance our work and continue to be a global reference of quality, innovation and efficiency.
Be a space for learning and innovating robotics, allowing students to put theory into practice and develop outstanding skills.
Initially only focused on Combat Robots, RioBotz now competes as well in other categories such as autonomous and remote-controlled Robot Sumo, Humanoids, solar-powered BEAM, Self-Balancing and Line Follower.
Combat robotics attracts all kinds of participants, from all ages especially those interested in engineering, machine design, computer science, new technologies and their trends. The competitions involve one-on-one duels between radio-controlled robotic vehicles in a bulletproof arena. To win by knockout, one robot must disable the opponent’s robot or throw it in a dead zone in the arena periphery. The robots can use any kind of mechanical weapon to accomplish that, such as hammers, axes, blades, saws, spears.
Each combat lasts up to 3 minutes. If there’s not a knockout, a panel of three judges decides the winner based on the performance of each robot, awarding aggression and damage points. Similarly to boxing, the robots are divided in weight classes, which range from the very light 150-gram “fairyweights” to the astonishing 150kg “super-heavyweights”. Competitions like these stimulate the builders’ creativity, allowing them to apply their knowledge of physics, mathematics, mechanics, electronics and programming to build real robots.
The focus of combat robotics is on construction, not destruction. Any damaged robot will provide knowledge to build improved and more resistant systems. In addition, any contestant may give up and stop the fight at any time to avoid costly damages to his/her robots.
There are several combat robot leagues all over the world, especially in the USA, the UK, Australia and Brazil. A few of the many broadcasters covering these events are CNN, Discovery, BBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, MTV and The History Channel. Currently, Brazilian competitions are organized by RoboCore, the only combat robot league in the country, responsible for the annual Winter Challenge.
Besides Brazilian competitions, RioBotz has already participated in several international ones:
-- RoboGames, known as the international Olympics of robotics (every year since 2006);
-- ALL Japan Robot-Sumo Tournament, the most competitive sumo robot championship in the world (in 2011 and 2013);
-- Stem Tech Olympiad, organized by USATL United States Alliance for Technological Literacy (in 2014);
-- Combots, known world-wide as the World Cup of combat robots (in 2011); and
-- BattleBots, the most famous combat robot competition in the world (participating starting in 2016).
Competitions are open to any builder, including experienced engineers and teams from high tech companies. It is not unusual to see in such events a skillful amateur hobbyist winning over a robot designed by rocket scientists. This is the fun of this sport, anyone can participate in it, and eventually win.
Competitions like these stimulate creativity and allow the students to apply their knowledge in mathematics, physics, mechanics, electronics and computation, acquired in their classes. The learning that comes with this process can be applied in many areas, such as rescue vehicles, systems for handicapped people, robots to accomplish tasks in hazardous environments, and control systems in industries.
Since 2003, several members helped RioBotz achieve various titles, which led us to become the most awarded robot competition team in the world. Here you can meet the people currently helping to write our history.
Daniel "Esguerda" Freitas
Mateus de Jesus
João Vitor Ziliani
Eduardo Von Ristow
Luiz Fernando Santarelli