War Zone Tower Defense

Introduction: War Zone Tower Defense


About our school and institute

We are freshmen at the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute (JI).

JI is one of many institutes at the larger university of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, located in the Minhang District of Shanghai, China.

The figure below is our famous school gate called “the door of temple” and one is the logo of our institute. JI specializes in training students in mechanical engineering as well as electrical and computer engineering with an American-based curriculum.

Step 1: About Us

About this course

As freshmen, we participate in a semester long class that focuses on teaching us engineering concepts and culminates in a final engineering competition. The competition this year was called War Zone Tower Defense. This instruction walks you through how to play the game as well as how we approached playing it and had lots of fun in team work. About our team We are a team called “HXWC”. Here is our own-designed picture which show that we take a bus to our JI building!(people in the picture from left to right: Zhu, Chen, Xu, Wang) The team name is from our Chinese names: Wang Zi Hao, Xu Ke, Zhu You Wen, Chen Qian. We design our logo by connecting four letters of alphabet handily. Can you find out HXWC in this picture of our logo? Does it look like an hardware called arduino that we use? The team name is from our Chinese names: Wang Zi Hao, Xu Ke, Zhu You Wen, Chen Qian. We design our logo by connecting four letters of alphabet handily. Can you find out HXWC in this picture of our logo? Does it look like an hardware called arduino that we use? Now, let’s have more fun in the War zone towel defense game!

Step 2: Game Rules

Overview: The premise of the game is a tower needs to protect itself from attaching bugs.

When the three bugs attach from four
possible paths to the tower,it needs to kill the bugs via its laser before the bugs reach it.

there are four possible paths. Each path is
2.5 meters long, with 0.5 meters of protected path where the bug cannot die, and two white lines perpendicular to the direction of the bugs’ travel. The first white line is at 1.5m and the second is at 2.5m from where the bug starts.

The path is marked by a black track. The
track has one white line straight down its middle, in the direction of the bugs’ travel. There are two more white lines mark the outer perimeters of the track, parallel with the middle lines.

All wheels, lasers, motors, and photosensors must be the original components given by the class. They cannot be replace/upgraded.

Step 3: Bug Rules

Bug must have a 15cm x 10cm vertical board on the front of the board, as seen Fig. 3.

· One photosensor is placed in the middle of the board, also shown in Fig. 3 and it must be 5cm above the ground and point toward the tower

· The bug is killed when the tower laser hits the photosensor and it must stop moving and stay still when it is killed

· The bugs must stop at the first white line for 2-4 seconds then continue toward the tower and they cannot die while it is waiting at the white line

· The speed of the bugs must be between 0.2 and 0.3 m/s.

· There is a wall after the second white line. The bug must stop and stay still at the second white line. If the bug hits the wall, it will lose points.

What can we do to make this bug more colorful and funny?


Step 4: Tower Rules


Must be made of normal weight (80g), A4 paper (3 sheets maximum) and white wood glue

· Laser (only 1) and all other electronic components must be mounted to the top of the tower and it must kill the bugs one by one

· Sensors may be placed on the bottom of the tower

· Paper must be the only load-bearing material. No supplementing the paper’s strength with wire, etc.

· Must be at least 60cm high. What’s more, Height being defined as the ground to the center of mass of the tower

· The width of the light ray must be equal to the width of the photosensor.

Step 5: As the Game Is Played Rules


Except for the designated times of setting up the bugs, no member of a team can touch their bug during the game. If a member does touch the bug during the game, the team loses that round.

· The enemy bugs of each tower are randomly chosen.

· The game is played in 3 rounds, with the winners of the previous round advancing to the next round.

· Each team gets 5 minutes of adjustment time between rounds.

Step 6: Material List

Step 7: Bug Circuit Diagram

The first hurdle to making an awesome bug

is connecting all the bug components together. Here we will discuss how to put all the wires in the right place, then in the next section we will discuss how to code the circuit.

Step 8: Motor Driving Circuit

This is the actual motor driver used in

the bug. Note where the useful pins are, including the IN and EN pins.(Liu & Zhu, 2016)

Step 9: Extra

This is the actual motor driver used in

the bug. Note where the useful pins are, including the IN and EN pins.(Liu & Zhu, 2016)

Step 10: Bug Assembly

Step 11: Tower Assembly

For the paper towel, we use pieces of A4 paper

to build it.

1.one piece of paper can make such a regular triangular prism.

Step 12: Continuously

2. 6 pieces of paper that stick together can make a body of paper towel.

Step 13: And Then

3. What’s more, because of the rule that the towel should be more than 60 centimeters high, we put 2 such body paper towels together to make a final towel. The downside body of paper tower is bigger than the upside body of paper tower. Now, each side has 2 pages that stick with each other.

4. Then we cover another piece of paper at the top of the towel. That’s what we use to place the servo.

5. We should put arduino uno which servo and cloud terrace codes has uploaded stick to the tower with white glue.

Step 14: Others Follow

6. The servo and the arduino uno should be connected well with wires.

7. We need to make the servo’s wire attached with the 9th out put of arduino and give arduino a 9V battery. 8. At the top of the tower, we should connect 2 servos with a cloud terrace and then it can move to every direction when the photo sensor ensure the distance.

Step 15: Towel Diagram

Step 16: Tower View

The final views of the paper towel and

the bug have been shown.

You may ask, why our tower looks like a
askew rocket or leaning tower of pisa?

Because of the rain! Shanghai’s rain always have a bad moon that will soft our tower and change its appearance. But all our group members think that smart audience like all of you can build a better tower than ours!

Step 17: Bug View

Doesn’t it look cool?

Step 18: The Troubleshooting Section and Warning

The troubleshooting section

1. The light sensor can easily be destroyed. Please check the power and wires or add resistance.

2. Change the arduino uno if you have wasted so much time to receive no date in the computer arduino software. It may be broken.

3. If the motor makes some strange sound or always revolve slowly, check it. If you don’t have such ability to fix the motors, order more online.

4. Color sensors can be sensitive or insensitive. If the bug’s color sensors’ code cannot be put in the whole codes, which means color sensor and light sensor can only work one, change it to another kind of color sensors which have higher price.

5. When the photo sensors are
connected with the arduino, it’s easy to have no enough resistance to keep the sensors safe and work. Try to be careful about it.

6. The voltage for the 2 motors are hard to change correctly which let them run between 0.2m/s and 0.4m/s. Try your best to make the bug go straight through changing voltages of two motors without color sensors.

7. If you have pressed the “reset” in arduino, the bug cannot start to run. Checking the battery box, batteries and wires. Maybe something mean for connection is broken.


1.Be careful about the voltage and sharp materials!

2.Look after your hands and face!

3.Look out for the lasers which should not shoot your eyes!

Step 19: Game Day

Every one of us had fun seeing

different bugs going straight to the paper tower.Before we start our game , our professor Shane Johnson talked to us about thanks.

Step 20: Our Teacher

Here is this handsome professor wearing his typical white shirt.

Step 21: Start!

Here are pictures showing that we are preparing our tower. now! Game begins! Actually, this game and preparation is hard for freshmen like us to complete. However, we all tried our best to make sure that the bugs go straight and follow the rules correctly. The tower shoot the bugs as much as possible. After the game, lots of students cried. We cried for winning and losing, but we acquires more than this. Friendship between us become so tight a band which cannot be apart.

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    6 years ago

    This sounds really fun! Thanks for sharing!