Free Soccer Robot Workshop
Let's Make Your Year
With Our Soccer Robots
Participation and trial is free.
We have sample robots 😊
Limited #. Please sign up ✅
We reserve our sample robots for you
- Multiple DatesSat, Dec 09Tigerlabs, 2nd FloorDec 09, 2023, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMTigerlabs, 2nd Floor, 300 Witherspoon St Suite 201, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
- Sat, Dec 16Tigerlabs, 2nd FloorDec 16, 2023, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PMTigerlabs, 2nd Floor, 300 Witherspoon St Suite 201, Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
When will a workshop take place?
We are holding free soccer robotics from 2-4 pm on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturday of every month at Tigerlabs, 300 Witherspoon St, Princeton. Please get in touch by email as dates may change due to holidays, outside events etc.
Location and cost?
Workshops are free. Beginners' robot kits can be purchased from Robomov on site for $139 or advanced kits for $340 as of October, 2023. Robots qualifying for the world cup usually cost around $1000. A team consists of 2 robots and up to 4 students, so costs can be shared, but we recommend that each student build their own working robot first, then start specializing and forming a team once they have real understanding of all the different aspects.
What is the approx. cost in total to foresee?
When our son was in middle and high school, we spent well over $1000 per year, supporting him to purchase electrical parts for prototyping as well as travel to tournaments in Sydney, Bangkok and Bordeaux. We consider this money very well invested, he learned more on his own and from his team mates over the years than from any summer class or summer camp. Other students joined a team for a year, spent maybe $200, and then decided to pursue other activities.
What should I bring to the workshop?
Please bring your robot and a PC to program it. We have several sample robots to try out.
Is there any recommendation for a laptop?
A light weight Windows based PC is recommended. Only basic functionality is required, Dad's old laptop will do.
What age is recommended for the robots?
Middle and high school age. Currently, our students range from grades 5-12. Ability to focus is more important than age.
What computer language is used?
Our younger students use a visual, block-based programming language called C-Style. Older students use standard C/C++. Very advanced teams also use additional programming languages for specific tasks, such as Python and Rust.
Could you tell me more about a competition for soccer robot?
The RoboCupJunior USA website is here: https://robocupjunior.squarespace.com/
The competition happens in May, with registration usually opening around Feburary or March.
What is soccer robot?
Our soccer robots are small robots on wheels. Often, they look like small wedding cakes. The robots have infrared sensors to detect an infrared pulse emitting ball. The students program the robot so that it pushes the ball towards the right goal. A soccer robot has 2, 3 or 4 wheels and motors that can be driven individually, 1-8 infrared sensors to locate the ball, one or several line sensors, and in some cases additional sensor for touch, distance, and cameras.
Do you teach programming, I mean, are there any teachers or curriculum?
Our workshop emphasizes peer to peer learning, more advanced students teach the less experienced ones. Mentors also do some teaching for beginners, but there is no curriculum. The students need to learn on their own, according to their own interest in mechanical and electrical design, programming, computer vision, as well as leadership and group management.
Are those robots remote control?
No, our robots are programmed to move autonomously, without outside interaction.
My child is in elementary school. Can she participate?
Focus and attention span is more critical than age. For elementary school students, it is advantageous to know how to operate a computer mouse and keyboard, and have first experience with a block programming language such as Scratch. Hands-on parental support and engagement is extremely helpful for elementary and early middle school age students.
I don't have any buddies to work on now. How should I do?
Come by our Saturday meeting and try it out! See how you like programming a robot. If you like it, you can make new friends among our students. You can also tell your friends at school and see if they are interested in joining you as well. The first step is to come and give it a try by yourself!
Can middle schoolers participate?
We currently have students ranging from grade 5 (elementary school) to high school seniors. All of our students are happy to teach beginners who are willing to work hard. Give it a try and see how you like it!
Can I bring snacks, my fav Boba and smart phone?
We want to focus on robotics. Video games and similar distractions are not permitted. Food is not permitted. Drinks are permitted, if you bring your own bottle (no boba-tea or open drinks).
Guidance for parents
Parents are encouraged to come by and stick around as they wish, but please let the children work on their own. Please help your child at home, but at Tigerlabs, it is often better to let the child work independently, without any parental help.
What is PSR?
Princeton Soccer Robotics is an all-volunteer group of students who come together to build soccer robots and participate in the RoboCupJunior tournament. Since 2018, our students meet regularly on Saturdays. They attend a variety of regional middle and high schools. We have won numerous US national titles and one second place internationally.
How is it different from the FTC?
Both are educational robotics initiatives that feed into team competitions. In our case, we are competing in RoboCupJunior (RCJ). The US national tournament will be held in New York or New Jersey in May, the world cup in Eindhoven in July, 2024.
The fundamental difference is that RCJ soccer robots are autonomous. They are programmed to move according to their sensor input or outside interference during the game.
Secondly, RCJ limits weight and voltage, but competitors are free to use any hardware. As a result of the relatively simple task, to detect a ball and push a ball in the right direction, the emphasis is more on electrical design and programming, less on mechanical design. RCJ robots also cost much less and thus do not require corporate sponsorships.
Tigerlabs, 2nd Floor
300 Witherspoon Street,
Princeton, NJ, USA, 08540