Robot spiders steal the show

News | June 22, 2016

Innovatiecluster Drachten congratulates Spider Scarjo as the winner of the NHL Spider Day 2016. Scarjo, named after the reference to Scarlett Johansson, wowed the audience with her speed and suppleness in the dance moves and stole the show.

The third edition of Spider Day took place on Wednesday, June 22 on the NHL. In multidisciplinary teams, consisting of second-year students from the Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering degree programmes, the students spent months working on their own unique robot spider. The result was an exciting and spectacular match.


"Storytelling is an important element of Spider Day," said jury member Nants Schilstra. The robot spiders each tell their own story with which they compete for the fastest time and the best dance moves. The trick here is to dance in sync with the music. In addition, the spiders have to follow an autonomous course in which they are shot at with ping-pong balls.


According to Sibbele Oosterhaven, professor of Computer Science and presenter of the event, the students are allowed to "grutsk wêze" on their robot spiders. ,,And mainly on the cooperation they have shown during the project. The power of the story is connecting students from all kinds of different backgrounds,” said the presenter.

Artificial intelligence

"With Spider Day, students can functionally apply their knowledge in a robot spider and thus make powerful use of artificial intelligence," Oosterhaven explains. Scarjo showed this, among other things, by using brain waves. The students controlled the winning robot spider based on a brain monitor.

See how spider Scarjo became a winner.