Last night, the students in my CS328 Intro to Robotics course competed in their final robotics competition for the semester. They had to work in teams to design, build, and program robots to perform complicated tasks in a limited amount of time, and I'm very proud of what they've accomplished.
After the students presented summaries of their final papers, we set up for the more nerve-wracking part of the class. Each team was scored in four areas:
- How well their robot was designed and constructed
- How well their robot performed
- Ingenuity and problem-solving
- Gracious professionalism on the part of the team members, including teamwork and sportsmanship
Each team's robot competed twice and was ranked based on their higher score. In the end, two teams tied with a score of 1,800 (out of 2,000 points possible), so a final tiebreaker was held.
In my book, all the teams did well. It's much harder than it looks to design a strategy to match the tasks, design and build a robot for the purpose, and program the robot to accomplish that strategy. Getting their robots to complete this competition was a major test of skill for my students, so I say well done, class! It's been my pleasure to teach each and every one of you, and I look forward to doing so again.
Here are some photos showing the class and competition (click for larger images):
Team 6 sends their robot on a mission
The competition underway
A close call by the judge
The teams with their robots
My students successfully designed and programmed their robots to operate devices, handle objects, and navigate obstacles. After the students programmed the bots and pressed the "start" button, the machines were completely on their own — no direct control of any kind from the competitors. Well done, students!
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