This year’s game was a collaboration between FIRST and NASA: teams were provided with slick rubber wheels and played on a smooth low-friction surface ┬ácalled “regolith” meant to simulate the effects of driving in low gravity on the moon. Lunacy is played by two alliances of three robots each on a 54′ by 27′ rectangular field. This “regolith” field floor, paired with the mandatory low-traction wheels, was supposed to mirror the effect of driving in reduced gravity on the moon. The objective of the game is to score points by placing moon rocks (worth 2 points when scored) in the opposing alliance’s trailers, which are dragged around by each robot. Empty cells (worth 20 points when scored) may be delivered to human players to be used later as “super cells”. During the last 20 seconds of a match, supercells (worth 15 points when scored) may be put into play.

Our Robot: Kermit

Kermit’s basic design was a feeder (a brush), that pulled game pieces into a reverse archimedes screw, bring them up to a shooter (also a brush) at a better height to get pieces into opponents trailers. In addition to that, Kermit also had a fan mounted behind all this, to give him some extra speed on the low-traction regolith. Kermit received awards at the Buckeye and Pittsburgh regionals for his fan and his archimedes screw-inspired design. Kermit also featured an awesome two-tiered electrical board, and lots of rivets (hence the name: “rivet, rivet!”). Kermit is also generally noted as being our prettiest robot to date, although that’s not quite what we were going for.