Wennty, Latin American Robotics Champion!

Wennty and the Challenge

Wennty was a robot made with LEGO® parts, paperboard, sponge, sandpaper, electronic components and copper —Chile, my country, is the top worldwide exporter of copper!

In October 2007, INacional 2K7, my team, won first place in the IEEE Chilean Robotics Competition in the Open category in my country. A month later, in November 7, we also won first place in the Latin America Robotics Competition (LARC) in Monterrey, Mexico. LARC is the most important robotics contest of the region and meets competitors from Chile in the South to Mexico in the North.

Our team was composed of four students of secondary school and two university students instead the others were only formed university students.

The challenge was a path of approximately 9.9 ft long (3 m) with four zones in a linear configuration where were:

  • A maze with four wooden cubes of 7.7 in3 (125 cm3).
  • A pyramid with square base with other cube over it.
  • A pool 0.5 ft (15 cm) deep.
  • A deposit where to leave the cubes collected.

The winner was the robot that got the most points in the shortest possible time.

Design, Construction and Programming Problems

During these phases and the competition days, we had to address problems such as:

  • The odometry, the use of data from moving sensors to estimate change in position over time.
  • Detection, collecting, shipping and throwing of the cubes.
  • Entry, moving and exit through the pyramid and the pool.
  • Water resistance.
  • The dimensions of the robot that should be 11.8 in (30 cm) in width, length and height by rule.
  • Wennty's center of mass.

On that occasion, I was in charge of the design and construction of the robot.


Our trip to Mexico and the robot's costs were mainly thanks to the monetary contributions of Escuela de Ingeniería of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Consejo Minero, parents, ex pupils of Instituto Nacional, family and friends.


  • In the last day of competition, during a test, Wentty entered to the pool and was turned! We had to cover the electronic components with plastic bags to prevent the partial or total loss in case the accident happen again.
  • We had to add a padlock to correct the trajectory of Wennty during the ascent to the pyramid.
  • I made two great friends thanks to Wennty: my teacher, John Mauro Pereira M., and my teammate, Luis Alberto Herrera G. I never thought that Luis Alberto would become a great friend because we discussed all the time.