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Smackdown in Sactown VI Battle of the Bots

Posted On : February 19th, 2010

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It will be mechanized mayhem when miniature robots take to the cage in the sixth annual Smackdown in Sactown battle of the bots, noon-5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 28, in the University Union Ballroom.

The competition, sponsored by Sacramento State College of Engineering and Computer Science students, features robots weighing one pound or less, meaning operators have to rely on ingenuity instead of brute force to win. Robots battle until they are disabled, flipped over or pushed into a hole.

Robots are constructed from materials ranging from soup cans, carbon fiber to titanium. “Because of their light weight and lack of mass, builders have to come up with cunning ways for their robots to attack and defend,” says Sue Holl, faculty advisor for competitive robotics. Many come with miniature saws and other mechanical items to grab, to flip and push their opponents.

“It’s not the strong that survive, it’s the smart that survive,” says Bryan Solari, president of Sacramento State’s Competitive Robotics Club.

The competition is part of the annual Engineering Expo that features projects built by students in the college’s competitive clubs. Displays will include human-powered vehicles, remote controlled helicopters, unmanned vehicles, a mini Baja race car, a formula race car, a concrete canoe, a steel bridge and a hover craft. Clubs and local companies will be on hand to give engineering demonstrations. A remote control blimp will fly indoors above the crowd. Weather permitting; pilots will demonstrate the unthinkable capabilities of RC Helicopters.

The Smackdown is open to the public and anyone can compete. Trophies will be given for first and second place and for most creative robot. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 attendee. Admittance and parking are free, just follow the event signs towards Parking Structure 2.

Bring your old electronics as there will be an E-waste collection service thanks to Argosy E-cycling. They will not be accepting car batteries or larger appliances such as stoves and refrigerators. If you are not sure about your electronics you can refer to or contact Argosy at Those that decided to recycle are helping to contribute back to the community since this company denotes a major part of its proceeds to charitable organizations. Collections will start at 11am and end at 5pm. The collection spot will take place on campus near the Union and signs will be posted directing traffic to the appropriate location.

The Expo is free and open to the public. For more information on the Smackdown or expo, or contact Bryan Solari at

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