Purdue Robot to Compete in Bot Shot Contest

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Purdue University has earned a spot in the Final Four at Bot Shot, a robotics competition sponsored by Minnesota-headquartered Land O'Lakes, where the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four also will take place. A Purdue robot will compete with entries from the universities of Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota State University in a basketball skills contest.

The contest will have two parts: sinking the most baskets from five spots on the court, followed by an old-fashioned game of H-O-R-S-E. 

The winning team gains a $10,000 cash prize and also gets to face NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson in a "human vs. robot challenge."

 Michael Linnes, the team's faculty adviser said that the idea of having a robot shoot a hoop sounds easy, but the systems required to make it happen are actually very complex. 

"Our team needed students from many different disciplines," Linnes said. "Students from First Year Engineering and Mechanical Engineering helped to build the physical systems with input from the rest of the team. They also worked with students from Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to design the control systems for the drive train, onboard sensors, and the shooting motors." 

The team says their creation, The BoilerBot Special, has a greater than 90 percent free-throw percentage and can make three-pointers with an accuracy that surpasses even the best NBA player. It can shoot from behind the backboard. 

The contest is April 7.

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