The Computer Science Students’ Community of the University of Ruhuna held their second hackathon series, BattleCode on the 27th of July. The inaugural Virtual Robotics Hackathon organized by one of the southernmost community of Sri Lankan tech enthusiast students was conducted as an inter-university competition.
The community which previously inaugurated Rush Coder, a 24-hour inner-university hackathon, last year as their very first hackathon. Today, they host 2 hackathons which tackle different challenges. One of these is a virtual robotics hackathon, which is uncommon amongst universities. The idea came about after a group of senior students at the University of Ruhuna, were inspired by a similar hackathon – Code Kombat organized by IFS, in which they almost won.
The fighting bots inside the University of Ruhuna
Teams of 4 members each, had to run virtual robotics on the Robocode programming game platform. Sound knowledge in Java programming was the only prerequisite for the competitors and they had to get through a pre-competition test on their Java skills, a few days prior to the final battle.
The 15 teams which eventually made it to battle on the 27th Saturday, were tested for logical thinking and teamwork as they challenged each other for almost 12 hours. Teams representing three different faculties of the University (Science Faculty, Engineering Faculty, and Technology Faculty) from three different levels turned up to the Department of Computer Science to experience virtual robotics.
The competition consisted of three battle rounds after the initial test round, during which the competitors made themselves familiar with the platform. Each round had 10 battles, which saw all 15 virtual robots made by each team battling it out at the same time. Amidst this battle royale, each round saw a new limitation being introduced.
Hence, coding for the first round was much easier as the customized bot (Alpha bot) had minimal restrictions. For the second and third rounds, the bots faced more restrictions. The Bravo bot used in the second round disallowed the designed robots to rotate their weapon.
Finally, there was the Charlie bot used in the third round, which presented a unique challenge. The teams were tasked with building a bot that could sense other tanks in a limited area. Further, the enemy tanks that were detected would appear to be in the opposite direction.
After hours of thinking, analyzing, discussing and above all coding, Team CodeBlasters emerged victorious while Team Kodeura grabbed the second spot. Both teams were from the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science. Team Binary-demons from the Technology Faculty became the 2nd runners-up.
With that, BattleCode v1.0 came to an end. But that’s not the only thing this community inside the University of Ruhuna has planned. Their signature event, the Rush Coders hackathon will be happening on the 17th of August.