ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory

Sumobot Competition

37th Annual Engineering Design Competition

Thursday, March 10, 2022, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, Ramo Auditorium

NOTE: At this time, in-person Mechanical and Civil Engineering Events are open to all Caltech students/staff/faculty/visitors with a valid Caltech ID. Outside community members are welcome to join our online webinar.

ME72 link:

2022 Sumobot Competition


The Mission

Student teams are challenged to design, build, and field robots for each of the three Sumobot competition categories: (1) Autonomous wheeled, (2) Radio-controlled (R/C) wheeled, and (3) (R/C) Strandbot, i.e., a linkage, mechanism-based walking robot. Sumobots must be designed to withstand the rigors of multiple matches against other robots of a similar category in a "sumo style" robot competition. Two Sumobots will square off in a five-foot diameter dohyo (sumo ring), and each robot will attempt to force the other out of the ring. Robots are allowed no weapons and cannot flip each other deliberately. Sumobot matches consist of three rounds, within a total time of three minutes (unless extended by the judges), following the basic system of traditional human sumo matches. The first robot that touches the outside of the ring loses the round, and the winner earns a "Yuhkoh point." The first robot to win two rounds wins the match. A round-robin competition format is adopted for each Sumobot category whereby each team plays every other team once. Based on cumulative points from matches in all three round-robin categories, the top four teams will advance to a single-elimination round where one team will emerge as the winner of the 2021-22 ME72 Competition.


  • The robot sumo ring is a large, flat (5-foot diameter x 2-inch thick) disc made of smooth plywood covered with a thin, steel layer. The dohyo border is gloss white and 5 centimeters (2 inches) in width. The brown starting lines (shikiri) are 2 centimeters in width (3/4 inch) by 20 centimeters (7.87 inches) in length, centered 10 centimeters (3.93 inches) from the middle of the ring.
  • One match will be fought for a total of 3 minutes, starting and ending upon the judge's command. The clock shall start ticking 5 seconds after the start is announced.
  • A “Yuhkoh point” is awarded when a team legally forces the body of the opposing robot to touch the space outside of the ring, which includes the side of the ring itself.
  • The team that wins two rounds or receives two Yuhkoh points first, within the time limit, shall win the match.
  • If either team does not win the match within the allotted time frame, an extended match may be fought, during which the team who receives the first Yuhkoh point shall win. Alternatively, the winner/loser of the match may be decided by judges, through lots, or by a rematch.
  • The number of match wins is used as the primary tie-breaking criterion. Secondary criteria include the number of round wins, the lightest weight, and the total time taken per match win (in that order). Sudden death elimination rounds may also be used as a last resort.


  • Design and fabricate autonomous and wheeled R/C Sumobots which fit within a 20 cm x 20 cm square box with no height restriction. R/C Strandbots are confined to fit in a 25 cm x 25 cm square box with no height restriction.
  • Design and fabricate autonomous and wheeled R/C Sumobots with a mass of 3 kg or less and Strandbots with a mass of 3.5 kg or less.
  • Develop autonomous sensing capability to detect the opponent robot using any method of autonomous control, as long as it is fully contained within the robot and receives no external signals or directions (human, machine, or otherwise).
  • Develop autonomous capability for sensing of the white dohyo border.
  • Generate detailed computer-aided design (CAD) drawings of each robot design with accurate dimensioning and tolerancing of all physical members.
  • Implementation of magnets in robot chassis for maximized traction.
  • Implementation of sensors (e.g., ultrasonic, IR, optical, lidar, etc.) and processing continuous data streams for the autonomous detection of opposing robots.
  • Assemble radio-controlled, motor-driven transmission and linkage mechanisms to generate robot motion and pushing force.

Team Name Team Members
MAJOR SSAƧƧ (Winner) Allison Cheng
Sofia Kwok
Vy Le
Martin Peticco
Sydney Richardson
Saskia van Nieuwstadt
MATAWARI Sophie Devoe
Olivia Ernst
Lauren Garriques
Moya Ly
Riley O'Neil
Limbert Palomino
Isaac Perrin
OM NOMS Eric Amaro
Colin Chun
Norman Chung
Jose de la Fuente Campos
Amritavarshini Mayavaram
Tyler Nguyen
Lorenzo Shaikewitz
Michael Gonzalez
Logan Hayes
Joshua Lee
Christian Stromberger
Aiden Swann
Maxwell Vale
PIZZA TIME Robert Daigle
Evan Dicker
Diana Frias Franco
Axel Gogoi
Calle Junker
Noah Yared