Our entry for 2015, A.L.I.C.E, was a massive improvement over last years model, in both design, and the code for it. Before ALICE was built, the design team built us a very basic chassis using scrap parts from 2014, which allowed us to write a large amount of the code base before we even had the robot built. Originally I wanted the final chassis to be built before the end of January, so we had a lot of time to test out the design for the robot and test using the final, in reality, it was closer to the middle of march before this was a reality.

The entire chassis was made from sheets of plywood, which we laser cut in college, allowing us to be very precise in the design of the robot to make sure that all the pieces would fit together properly, making the chassis less likely to break.

The initial design was conceived by Ben, at kickstart, and was then refined over the coming weeks the rest of the building team. This was made much easier from the use of the 3D model, that Ben made, which helped us visualize any changes that were to be made, as well as work out strategy by seeing the measurements we had to work with.

Once the build was completed, it was to a much higher design and quality than I could've ever imagined! It allowed us to forget about any shortcomings when it came to chassis, not having to compensate for weight distribution, or worry about the grip on the wheels, as we had to do last year.

Why call it A.L.I.C.E?

The decision to name the robot 'Alice' was a decision made by the whole group!

That's a lie.

Ben suggested it and as no one had any better ideas and because he gets overruling vote on this, for some reason , it stuck.

One idea was also suggested that we name the robot after the first sponsor we got, but as we didn't get one until after the team split, the other team took that name instead.

I decided to try to find the cheesiest acronym for 'Alice', to make the name slightly more interesting, and not some random girls name pulled from thin air on the bus ride home from kickstart. There were a few rather good ideas, most of them coming from Sam:

  • 'Automated Laser-cut Interactive Capturing Entity'
  • 'Abnormally Lame and Inaccurate Control-less Engine'
  • 'Anti-Losing Immaculate Competitive Extravaganza'

But the one we went with was:

'Autonomous Logistics and Inevitable Collision Engine'

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