"The race is not to the swift,” and, in the short term at least, nor is it always to those who finish.
Neither of WPI’s entries completed the Vecna Robot Sprint Challenge in Cambridge earlier this month. Hydro Dog, the four-legged robot powered by artificial muscles, had started walking just days before the competition, so going the 100-meter distance would probably be too much to expect. And WALRUS, the amphibious rover, ran into problems with its wireless networks, making it difficult to control.
But both projects are works in progress, with potential implications that go far beyond any race course.
“It’s really not serious competition,” says Marko Popovic, an assistant research professor in physics and the advisor for Hydro Dog, adding that the event was a good experience for the students and provided good exposure to their projects.