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“Technische Fachhochschule Buchs” University of Applied Science

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“Technische Fachhochschule Buchs” University of Applied Science

Escape from Alcatraz

Nine groups of around ten students from the “NTB” University of Applied Science in the Swiss municipality of Buchs spent several months developing a robot capable of escaping from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary with the help of a partner robot.
The task was organised as follows (see photo for playing field):
Once both robots have come down from the roof, one robot picks up the key, which takes the form of an iron ball. It must then pass over the see-saw and open the drawbridge using the key it has collected by throwing the ball. Both robots can then escape to freedom. The “escape attempt” has a maximum time limit of three minutes.
It is also essential for the robots to communicate with each other, as they have to find out for themselves which one has to complete which task. The see-saw, for example, has to be secured in place by one robot so that the other can pass over it without falling over.

norelem supported Team 09, which was made up of students from Chur in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. Team 09's robot was named Jailbreaker and the principle behind how it was programmed was extraordinary. Whilst still on the roof, it drops a panel complete with 3M double-sided tape on the floor and hits it once with a hammer so that it is fixed securely to the roof. The robots can then abseil down safely using the straps attached to the panel. The drive is fitted with caterpillar tracks, which run over three rollers on each side and have a small tension pulley to provide the necessary tension.

In the presentations to both the technical committee and the general public, Jailbreaker fulfilled its task to the full satisfaction of all involved.

norelem in the project:
The rollers are attached to »dowels, which in turn are attached to the housing with »deep groove ball bearings. These dowels and bearings are all from norelem, as are the »grub screws used to secure the rollers to the pins.
DIN 6325 dowels

Deep groove ball bearing FAG single row

Grub screws with hexagon socket
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