Circus Robot Spec released/ Robotronica @QUT


we have been approached by QUT if we would like to participate in the upcoming Robotronica. The details are as follows:

Circus Cube Robots

The Brief:


QUT is hosting a number of robot themed events where the majority of the audience will be the
general public. These events include Robotronica 2015, the opening of the new Creative
Industries Precinct in 2016 and the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
in 2018.
We want to show the general public what robots can do and get them to think about robots
doing all sorts of amazing things. As part of this engagement with the public, QUT will develop
some robot shows. We need some robot circus performers! We have a general concept for our
robot performers that they must be able to morph into and out of a cube form. We need creative
people to design and build circus performance robots.


The QUT academics have had a few ideas:

• a cube robot that unfolds and crawls,

• a cube that spins on one of its points,

• a cube that can skip a rope,

• a cube that can climb a ladder

But you may have some much better ideas!


There are a few constraints on the cube robots that we would like to see built:

  1. A cube robot should be 400mm x 400mm x 400mm when it is in the cube form.
  1. A cube robot should be smooth on five sides when in the cube shape with any non-
    smooth side capable of being the bottom face of the cube when it sits on the ground.
  1. A cube robot should be light enough that a person can easily lift it.
  1. A cube robot should be self-powered and have all the energy it needs to perform located within its structure (i.e. no umbilical power or pneumatic hoses while it performs).

Apart from these four simple constraints, you can let your imagination go wild.


We have limited funding to assist with the building of the robots and so can only select the most
promising robots to the final build phase. This selection will be based on feasibility of the design,
ease of integration with human performers and the projected costs.


• mid-April 2015 Design review and selection of robots to proceed to final build

• May 2015 Auditions of the cube robots

• June 2015 Design of the cube robot show (integrating human performers)

• July 2015 Start of rehearsals with robots and humans

• 23 August 2015 Robotronica performance day

What next?

If you are interested in designing and building a cube robot then get sketching/CADing and put
your ideas down on paper/screens. We do not need a very formal proposal from you. We would
simply like to see your ideas. One to two pages, with sketches, explaining what you are
proposing, what you think it will cost to build is all we need to start with.
If you use CAD then any drawings do not need to be dimensionally correct – just a CAD
approximation. And of course hand-drawings are just fine. What we are looking for here is a
clear idea of what you are proposing and a sense that you have the ability to turn that concept
into reality within the time and budget constraints given.

If you or a group of people would like to participate in this event as the official HSBNE group please contact the exec for contact details to hand in your idea.
Please ensure to be able to perform in the given timeline and layout for this project!

1 Like

Lots of FIRST Tech Challenge robots have a size limit around that size :smile: Take a look at what high schools students come up with that fits in that size… some of them extend quite high

This past years challenge (2014/15) required robots to start in that size limit but be able to put baseball and golfball size balls in goals up to about 130cm.

Can you tell I love FIRST Tech Challenge :wink: