Get to know iRobotics

5/11/2022 10:50:11 AM Lexi Larson

Looking for an RSO with so many areas to get involved in? Do you have an interest in robots? In search of a creative outlet to test out a new idea you came up with? Look no further than iRobotics, UIUC’s largest robotics student organization.

art creation robot
The team's art creation robot.

There are several teams to join within iRobotics, including Combots and Robosub. Each of the teams prepares for a separate competition, allowing members to engage in many ways. Or, if none of the existing projects float your boat you can also create your own project.

Since Fall 2013, the organization’s Projects Team has devoted time and members to their own unique projects, without any pressure from deadlines. Many projects have been completed, and many more will be pursued. The sky is the limit, so if you have a fun idea you would like to try to build, check with the team!

As for competitions, the main objective of the Combots team is to win a match between two robots battling it out. This brutal competition consists of various weight classes ranging from one lb. to 120 lbs. From rotating blades to high-pressure air-powered flippers, these robots are not to be messed with.

robot arm design
Robot arm design.

"Being part of Combat Robotics has helped me and my team gain insight into solving engineering problems in unique and creative ways. In addition to all the leadership and management skills we gain, we also are very excited every year as we design and build a new robot while working with limitations such as part selection, machining equipment, material selection, physics, and competition rules,” said Anudeep Ekkurthi, Combots senior team captain.

This year in Combots, Illinois’s team designed a horizontal spinner. Members work with CAD to gain hands-on experience learning about robot assembly, design, and understanding of the tools and equipment. The team competed in the 2022 Robobrawl competition last month.

Wyatt Sass, the Combots freshman team captain, said members of all majors and experience level are encouraged to join the team. “The main way that new members can get some hands-on experience is through helping to build the arena for Robobrawl, as well as helping design the robot in Solidworks and asking upperclassmen or alumni any questions that they have to gain a higher level of understanding.”

Robosub is another competition that iRobotics is involved with, where underwater robots must complete various task objectives for points. The Robosub team consists of three subteams—mechanical, electrical, and software—and students are welcome to assist on any team.

current robot design with horizontal spinners
The current robot design with horizontal spinners.






“I’m really excited for the future of this team, especially because autonomous robotics is something I am super passionate about. Since we are a small team, I think it is really nice to be able to have more ownership in the work among all our members and it is much easier to get to know my teammates. While most of us don’t have experience with underwater robotics, I think this will be a great opportunity for all of us to learn and grow as engineers,” said the Robosub team captain Robert Azarcon.

Sign up to get involved with iRobotics and receive information through their weekly newsletter.