MechWarfare at ShepRobofest 2017

Meet Frederick

The Stony Brook Robotics Team competed in Shepherd University's Robofest 2017 with Frederick (Fred, for short), a quadruped robot equipped with LIDAR technology and a fully automated firing mechanism. The robot served to bring together a modular mechanical design, an efficient electrical system and a robust software program which were key to overall functioning of the system.

ShepRobofest is an annual robotics competition hosted by Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The competition serves to bring like-minded elementary to college-level students to celebrate STEM education and robotics.

The MechWarfare Robot Competition at Shepherd University's Robofest is a challenge that simulates robot combat in an arena and in a scaled terrain. Each team builds a 1/24 scaled armed robots that are piloted through a wireless first-person POV system. The competition places robots head to head in a gunslinging battle to determine a victor.

Technical Overview

Mechanical System

Each part of the robot is carefully designed to be modular and adaptable and follow an iterative process. Each leg is designed to be a pivot point to allow for easy turning with the optimal amount of friction. 3D printed parts were custom designed to fit the pre-made Robotis Servo motor attachments. The Robotis Servo and Arbotix System is a collection of highly efficient servos used in hobby robotics. In addition to the high performance and quick response time of the servos, the servos are exceptional for their wide range of motions and ease of programming, making them the idea choice to program.

Electrical System

The Electrical Team designed custom-made circuit boards to handle the robot's delicate controls and to partition sufficient power for all subsystems. Combining the Robotis Servo System with radio communication modules, our robot is fully equipped to lunge into battle with fast and powerful movements. The Electrical team works closely with our Software Team to provide both radio communication and fine tuning of the robot's movements.

Software System

The software portion of this robot was mostly implemented in C++. The robot was controlled with an XBox controller. Control information and sensor information was broadcast to and from the robot via an XBee radio using the Zigbee protocol. A robust communication system was designed with the electrical team to ensure that a bad wireless connection could be detected quickly. The robot was required to have legs due the the competition rules. This meant that extensive time was put into designing and implemented a system which would allow Frederick to walk smoothly and be easy to control. Additionally, a LIDAR was mounted to the robot to show a 360 degree view of any obstacles around Fred.

For more information about Fred and other SBRT robots, contact us at

Stony Brook University USG
Stony Brook University College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Maalouf Ashford & Talbot, LLP