Eurobot Prize Winners, Robotics Gurus, Teammates.
RESET, Skoltech Eurobot team | Intelligent Space Robotics Laboratory | Space Center
Meet team RESET: Skoltech masters students who took 2nd place in the prestigious Eurobot international robotics championship in 2019. The team beat 32 previous winners of national championships from France, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries, with mind-blowing and winning performances at national competition in Russia for 4 years in a row.

10 members of the team come from across various disciplines, but share one common passion: robotics. In this True Story, 5 students (Edgar Kaziakhmedov, Juan Heredia, Alexander Sokolovsky, Semen Lykhin and Nikolay Zherdev, team captain), reflect on their experience preparing for and competing in the 2019 Eurobot championship.


Nikolay
Nikolay Zherdev was the team captain and developed an algorithm for path planning and collecting pucks, built a behavior tree for one of the robots.
Edgar
Edgar Kaziakhmedov was responsible for the main STM32 firmware and deep learning-based Computer Vision. Also guided others on how the schematics should be done.
Alexander
Alexander Sokolovsky worked on the structural design, CAD modelling and construction of the main robot, production of parts, assembly and maintenance.
Juan
Juan Heredia was in charge of the electronics hardware design and assembly.
Semen
Semen Lykhin designed and debugged the mechanics of a secondary robot.
Nikita
Nikita Gorbadey worked as an embedded systems engineer in the electronics department.
Batyr
Batyrzhan Alikhanov was part of mechanical engineering team, mainly worked on "experiment" and supplementary platforms of the competition.
Egor
Egor Pristanskiy (Moscow Polytechnic University) developed localization, navigation and collision avoidance systems.
Alexey
Alexey Kashapov was a robotics software developer, worked on computer vision and algorithms for robots.
Anton
Anton Egorov was a part of electronics team, developed from scratch the power supply system of a secondary autonomous mobile robot and printed circuit board (PCB) for connecting STM32f4 and STM32f0 microcontrollers and peripherals.
about Eurobot championship
Edgar: Eurobot started in 1994 in France. Robotics professionals from dozens of countries participate in it, and winners of national qualifying stages get into the international finals. In France alone there are more than 230 teams that battle for victory; in Russia — about 18. Autonomous robots designed and assembled by the teams need to complete complex tasks and score maximum points in 100 seconds or less. In these conditions, any malfunction or accidental failure of the robot can deprive the team of all chances to win. As such, Eurobot winners are not only the most complex and advanced robots, but also the most stable and reliable ones.

Juan: The theme of the 2019 Eurobot competition was "Atom Factory": the objects on the play field had cylindrical shapes of different weights and colors, which determined the type of atom. Our robots had to classify them, weigh them, create a new element and conduct an experiment.
about the team
The team originally started as Robotics club by Associate Professor and Head of Intelligent Space Robotics Lab Dzmitry Tsetserukou with now-graduate Oleg Shipitko in 2016. Students joined the club to gain hands-on experience in their field of study and ended up turning it into a legendary community of up-and-coming robotics experts that continues to thrive today.

The 2019 team had nine first-year masters students from Skoltech and one first-year student from the Moscow Polytechnic University: Nikolay Zherdev (Captain), Anton Egorov, Juan Heredia, Semen Lykhin, Nikita Gorbadey, Alexey Kashapov, Edgar Kaziakhmedov, Batyrzhan Alikhanov, Alexander Sokolovskiy, Egor Pristansky (Moscow Polytechnic University). Additional thanks goes to last year's team members Vladimir Karandaev, Mikhail Kurenkov and Evgeniy Safronov, who supported and mentored RESET towards their success at Eurobot.

building the robot
Alexander: Building a robot for Eurobot, first of all, requires deep analysis of possible strategies, including ways to earn as many points as possible and considering possible actions of the team on the other side of the playing table. It influences what actions the robot should be capable of and hence its construction and architecture. On top of that, there are also certain restrictions in the rules of Eurobot we have to consider along the way. After a CAD model of robot is developed, its production starts. The process includes everything from the production of the parts and their assembly to installation of electronic components, sensors, actuators and their wiring. Then the software engineers make tests of the robots' movements and behavior. Improvements can be made at any point, so the process of making the process of robot building is iterative and non-linear.

Edgar: Any kind of problem might pop up along the way and ruin the design of a robot as well as the design of the wiring and electronics. This vividly reminds me of having a major issue with a static discharge. It took us a week to realize we simply needed to change the cover case from a plastic to a carbon one.

Nikolay: To design the robot, we really had to implement the knowledge the we gained from Systems Engineering course. We were also able to use high-quality equipment and components at the Intelligent Space Robotics Lab, so thanks to Dmitry Tsetserukou, and support from Skoltech and our sponsors (SICK, Phoenix Contact, Avi Solutions, Maxon Motors and Telerem) we could concentrate our efforts on developing, testing and fine-tuning. That saved us from a lot of headaches.

Semen: I was a body design developer in the Formula Student USURT team at my first University, the brevity of the robot design matters to me. I am not saying that the secondary robot is the heart of robotics, I say that the design solutions that you will think through and implement will add to your robot's elegance and laconism. That always wins :)

Masters in Space and Engineering Systems
This program combines study of the general principles of complex engineering system construction with participation in satellite, drone and robotic systems-building projects. The program is also aimed to provide the fundamental skills in data analysis for the development of complex system applications fostering the synergies and interdependencies between engineering, industry and space science (satellite imagery and communications, satellite navigation, remote sensing and in-situ data of space weather). We teach students to find creative solutions to the biggest challenges of space and robotics industries.
Learn more
team atmosphere
Juan: RESET is a truly supportive community within Skoltech, it's no wonder the team has been so successful over the last 4 years. Despite the annual change in members (the team is comprised of 1st year students only), those who competed last year mentor and support their successors. We often say RESET has become a fraternity of sorts. Thanks to the guidance of our 2nd year members, we learned to solve the challenges in front of us and felt more confident in our skills for the competitions.
The students build their robots completely independently, from mechanics to electronics and software. They do not depend on third-party assistance, which is why the team works so harmoniously and efficiently. They can assemble and disassemble robots with their eyes closed. As experience shows, students who competed in Eurobot are technically more equipped and better disciplined for their future graduate studies and a successful career.
Dzmitry Tsetserukou
Associate Professor, Head of Intelligent Space Robotics Laboratory.
Mentor of RESET team
Past RESET team members and national Eurobot prize winners
what happened at Eurobot 2019
Nikolay: We thought of a strategy long before the competitions started. There was one strong French team, RCVA, that moved and operated very accurately. We wanted to battle with them only in the final match in the play-off, so our strategy was to win all qualification rounds (5 for each team) - and that is what we did. But unfortunately, many strong French teams couldn't get to the international play-offs, including RCVA. We arranged a friendly match with them later and won, despite their mechanics being one of the most advanced among teams.

Juan: Eurobot 2019 was an amazing experience. I think that the RESET success during these 4 years is the correct selection of the members. Each member contributed with his best. I forgot how many nights working in the robots we slept in the laboratory. At the end (with some luck), we won first place in Russia and second place in the International Competition.
Semen: We were just doing our job. While preparing for the competition, a lot of responsibility falls on the mechanics, because we need to iterate the design very quickly, without delay, to get the final version. This gives electricians and programmers more time to debug the electronics and strategies. And at the competition stage, the difficult time comes for programmers. The guys were debugging the robots' strategy. One mentor, Vladimir Karandaev, had to tame our ambitions because changing the program a couple of hours before the start is dangerous. We decided to focus on what we had (stable average scoring points strategy) and just did our job match by match. As Leo Tolstoy said, "Do what you must and come what may." So it worked out in the end.
what does Skoltech mean to you?
Edgar: The feature inherent in Skoltech is a large scientific community, which enables students to make unique connections with people from all over the world. For me, it is a great chance to share experience and develop new concepts in collaboration. As of now, Skoltech is the only place in Russia providing high-level international education.

Juan: Skoltech is a young university that is growing fast. Students have all the tools for researching and developing new technologies. I had access to an equipped laboratory with excellent professors. During my master's program, I built robots, met people, traveled around the world, and became a better engineer. I value the resources and knowledge that Skoltech gave me during my time in the master's program.

Semen: Skoltech is a unique place for people who are passionate about science and innovation. The most fascinating and valuable thing to me is that the mentality of Skoltech stays with you even after graduation. Back on my first day of studies one speaker said, "Some of you may be used to hearing "it's a bad idea" a lot. Here, it's different. There are no bad ideas. And yours are our priority."

Skoltech has the perfect atmosphere and ecosystem for creating something new. Students cover 2-4 full courses in just two months. They receive their knowledge instantly, without unnecessary extensions and unrelated subjects. But the most important thing is here is the people. People shape the place. And this place, Skoltech, is amazing.
the takeaways
Alexander: I saw great improvement in the skills directly connected to my role in the team — structural design, development of parts and assemblies. Also, I had a chance to learn something from the electronics team — architecture of electronic system, principles of placement of various sensors, wiring, and so on. I learned much about teamwork and teambuilding and had a chance to see once more how important it is.

Nikolay: Taking part in this competition and communication with talented students with so different and strong backgrounds was very fruitful. I suffered almost the whole year, but friends, knowledge and skills that I gained were totally worth it.

Juan: The teamwork got us very far. All the knowledge, experiences and skills are invaluable and I am sure I will use in future projects. Join the team. It is an unbelievable experience.

Semen: Experiences like RESET are for life. We have come this way together, and it's worth a lot. At the first glance, it seems that this is just a robotics competition, just a team. But knowing the path and going through it are not the same (yes, I just quoted "The Matrix"). My takeaway is, fill your life with events, it helps to see a different view of life, it helps to be part of something bigger, it remains in history and you will have something to remember sitting in a rocking chair in your 90 years.

Edgar: And seize the moment, guys. Turn it into an opportunity to find your way.
and now about Skoltech
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