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Undergrad-built Robots Play "Operation"

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the you're-the-doctor-having-so-much-fun dept.

Education 33

jnakane writes "UBC Engineering Physics students pit prototype operation robots against each other for prizes and bragging rights in the 7th Annual Robot Competition. Offering solutions to handle delicate body parts on a 6-foot long version of the playing surface resembling the board game "Operation" (including the "shock" buzzer), the second-year students designed and built autonomous surgical robots to remove body organs reliably and quickly (well, most of the time). You can also see video footage."

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So? (4, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625381)

Everyone knows the game is only fun when played as "strip Operation" with a group of drunk college students. Who the hell wants to see robots naked?

(...he says, kicking a nearby Sorayama book under the couch.)

I SPENT LAST NIGHT BRUTALLY VIOLATING YOUR MOM (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20625461)

Expect a little brother or sister about 9-10 months from now.

Re:So? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20629429)

Funny how all us sad geeks on slashdot understand certain Japanese words that pertain to robot porn.

I have to admit I knew what sorayama meant without resorting to googling it.

No need to rtfa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20625415)

There is no article, just a Youtube video?

Re:No need to rtfa (1)

DreadfulGrape (398188) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625455)

WTFV.

(watch the fine video.)

Re:No need to rtfa (2, Funny)

Teifion (1022083) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625967)

There is no article, just a Youtube video?
Thus upsetting a sum total of 5% of the people that would normally read the article while the other 95% don't even notice.

Spare parts. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20625447)

"Offering solutions to handle delicate body parts on a 6-foot long version of the playing surface resembling the board game "Operation" (including the "shock" buzzer), the second-year students designed and built autonomous surgical robots to remove body organs reliably and quickly (well, most of the time)."

And those would be organs you didn't really need.

"You can also see video footage.""

Ewww!

Figures... (4, Funny)

moehoward (668736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625485)


A bunch of geeks build a robot to "play doctor" instead of doing it themselves. When will it end?

Re:Figures... (2, Funny)

dkf (304284) | more than 6 years ago | (#20627835)

A bunch of geeks build a robot to "play doctor" instead of doing it themselves. When will it end?
At least you know none of them are "playing doctors and nurses"...

6 weeks ! (4, Insightful)

c_fel (927677) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625513)

I teach in an engineering school and I must say that 6 weeks to design, build and program that kind of robot is really short. They must be very, very good because this is a great challenge.

Congratulations to all of you guys ! :-)

Re:6 weeks ! (2, Interesting)

boris the engineer (1128699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20628543)

At Cambridge University us Undergraduate engineers do a similar robotics project in 4 weeks on top of normal lectures. It's manic, but do-able. (Teams of 6 students) See: http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/DesignOffice/idp/index.html [cam.ac.uk] Of course, the project is run twice a term so all of the computing equipment and hardware you might need to build the robot is readily to hand - that makes a world of difference to speeding up development.

Re:6 weeks ! (1)

mmyrfield (1157811) | more than 6 years ago | (#20633585)

Well, our robotics course was on top of normal lectures, and after only 3 terms of university at that. The amount of knowledge they shoved into us through that course I found to be phenomenal, and an incredible experience.

~Dr. Claw Team Member

Re:6 weeks ! (1)

mdozturk (973065) | more than 6 years ago | (#20630995)

There are lego mindstorms people out there who solve more involved problems every other week.

Re:6 weeks ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20676607)

Even if that's true, they're using mindstorms, which makes doing things like this worlds easier and faster.

"Macro" Operation, that is (2, Interesting)

newsdee (629448) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625529)

I don't mean to belittle the efforts that went into building these, but I was a bit disappointed to see that it was not the real "Operation" game but some big table with big holes in it. The robots use some type of magnet to pick up metallic objects instead of tweezers to pick up small plastic things. The holes are also big squares instead of the squiggly holes that make the original interesting.

Of course, making an autonomous robot that plays the real thing would be an order of magnitude harder. Hopefully some of the contestants had so much fun they'll go on to try to create that sometime in the future.

Re:"Macro" Operation, that is (2, Funny)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#20630939)

Hah, call me when they make a robot that can play through the last levels of Trauma Center: Under the knife.


Hint: requires at least 5 limbs capable of gripping a stylus.

In my faculty... (0, Redundant)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625545)

In mechanical engineering, we play doctor with the girls from biomedicine. Now that I know how the CS majors play doctor, I'm glad that I wasn't accepted...

Weak Robot Names (1)

JRGhaddar (448765) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625567)

Kinda weak on the names....however I did like the Robot named "Dr. Claw"

What about these fine options:

GutsGrabber
Hobocop
BasementBot
The Organ Extracting Robotic Overlord
Does it Run Linux?
Cowboy Steel

Re:Weak Robot Names (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#20626189)

Need to go more in the Battlebots direction:

The Vivisector
The Amputator
Dr. Lecter
Medica Malpractica
The Ripper

Re:Weak Robot Names (2, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 6 years ago | (#20626699)

Which would all be really great names for rock bands.

Amazing what kids are doing these days (4, Interesting)

jparp (316662) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625597)

I happened to be visiting UBC when this was going on, and my roommate in the residence had a robot in the competition... so I went to go check it out.

Of course robotics engineering is not as difficult as it used to be, with better COTS sensors, affordable fab tools, an expanding open source robotics community, and of course Moore's Law...

Regardless, it was really incredible to see what _second_ year students are capable of these days. Also, lots of credit should go to the ambitious profs who have been organizing the course for the past few years.

Obligatory (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20625653)

I, for one, welcome our new organ-harvesting overlords.

Artificial Shock (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20625879)

These robots will be really interesting when they can simulate in themselves the feeling of recoiling in shock and horror when a long run of successful extractions suddenly ends when they touch their instrument to patient, and that damn buzzer goes off. And it hands the tweezers to its bratty little sister for her easy win.

yoU fAil it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20626217)

AHH! *Runs and Hides* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20626539)

Kidney Blocker 3000?

Robot Ruminations (0)

Dragonflite (1155813) | more than 6 years ago | (#20626639)

Those geeks that are
From UBC.
That make robots.
How can it be?

They must be smart
You must agree
A special sect
Of bourgeoisie.

But, to play doctor?
Is it for me,
To ask it for
It's MD degree?

Freshmen designing, programming, debugging robots (1)

Plocmstart (718110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20626667)

Ohio State also has a program (I was a student in '98) that uses the same controller with the same idea. Teams of 3-4 students get roughly 8 weeks to build and it also ends in a competition (with now over 50 teams). Design project page here [osu.edu] . Video of this past year's competition [youtube.com] or search youtube for "FEH robot" to find more.

Ole' UBC ECE 474 Robot Competition (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20626855)

UBC Electrical & Computer Engineering 474 used to have student robot competitions back in the 1998-2000 timeframe. They had autonomous maze mapping robot and treasure hunt competitions with a Motorola HC11 brain. The current project is at http://courses.ece.ubc.ca/474/index.html [ece.ubc.ca] . Previous ones at http://courses.ece.ubc.ca/474/previous_termreports.html [ece.ubc.ca] .

reliably ... most of the time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20634429)

Must be a very strange definition of "reliably". If it only works most of the time, I certainly wouldn't rely on it.

Operation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20635011)

"...reliably and quickly (well, most of the time)."

Yeah, that's a comment I'd really like to hear connected to the term "operation".

Do the robots get angry? (1)

Wiseazz (267052) | more than 6 years ago | (#20635989)

When I was little, I took the stupid game, ripped the nose off and threw it across the room. I wasn't a violent kid, but the buzzer reached deep down into my lizard brain and triggered something unpleasant and primal.

Now if you can build a robot to not only play the game but get insanely pissed off when it buzzes, then you're making progress.
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