Author: Jonathan Deutschman
A student tweaks a small, wheeled robot on a simulated hockey surface.

While NHL titans battled it out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a different kind of hockey showdown took the spotlight last week in the Glass Pavilion. On May 6, the Whiting School of Engineering’s Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted its annual Mechatronics JHockey Tournament, in which seven teams of robotic players battled for supremacy on the rink. With teaching assistants and John C. Malone Assistant Professor Jeremy Brown acting as referees, the Back Bay Midnight Pedalers claimed victory over Puck Me after a lively three-hour-long, double-elimination contest.

“All the teams performed great,” Brown said. “These robots had to play each match autonomously, so the teams had to preprogram all of the robot’s actions based on anticipated game scenarios, which can be quite challenging. The teams also had to deal with unexpected errors in code and mechanical and electrical hardware failures throughout the tournament.”

A student raises his arms as a small robot puts a "puck" in a goal on a simulated hockey rink. A ref, teammate, and Professor Jeremy Brown (laughing) look on.

While Back Bay took an early lead in the tournament, winning their first-round match 3-0, they fell to the losers bracket after a second-round defeat to Puck Me, 0-1. Back Bay then battled their way out of the losers bracket, winning four matches in a row to upset Puck Me in a double-elimination late-night final rematch.

“The event went really well overall,” Brown said. “Hats off to all the teaching assistants (Anway Pimpalkar, Ahan Dalia, Lorenzo Gregory, Shubhan Mathur, and Zhenjie Jiang) for their hard work and dedication throughout the semester. Most importantly, a big congrats to all the teams that took part in the tournament. I think this was the best way to end the course, and I know everyone had fun!”


Two small robots face on a mini hockey rink, trying to push a "puck" that resembles a small traffic cone.


First Place
Back Bay Midnight Pedalers

  • Aabhas Jain (MechE)
  • Krystal Lan (MechE)
  • Eli Levenshus (BME)
  • Saardhak Bhrugubanda (BME)



Competitors set up their robots on a simulated hockey rink.

Second Place
Puck Me

  • Jacob McCloskey (MechE)
  • Elliot Lee (MechE)
  • Christopher Roybal (CS)
  • Thomas Miller (MechE)