June 16, 2002
June 16, 2002
June 19, 2002
7.867.1 - 7.867.5
Mobile Robot Navigation Contest for Undergraduate Design and K-12 Outreach
Robert Avanzato Penn State Abington
Abstract Penn State Abington has developed an autonomous mobile robotics competition to support freshman design, K-12 outreach, undergraduate research opportunities, and curriculum integration. The contest, Robo-TrailBlazers, encourages participants to explore a variety of robot navigation solutions including line-following, wall-following, and cooperating robots. Participants in recent contests have ranged from second grade to college seniors. The contest supports a wide range of educational objectives and promotes interest in engineering and science.
1.0 Introduction Penn State Abington has developed autonomous mobile robotics educational resources to support freshman design, K-12 outreach, undergraduate research opportunities, and honors coursework in robotics [1,2]. One key component to the successful implementation of these activities has been the effective use of robot competitions. One contest, “Robo-TrailBlazers,” has been designed to meet the educational needs of a wide range of participants. This contest has been offered at the Penn State Abington campus (Philadelphia, Pa. area) each December since 1998. The contest is free and open to students of all ages and backgrounds. The contest allows and encourages participants to explore a variety of navigation solutions including line-following, wall-following, and cooperating robots. The robots in the competition can also control the motion of an electric model train, which acts as a moving obstacle. Solutions have included simple “random walk” approaches, fuzzy logic-based line following, and mapping algorithms. A teleoperated division in which robots can be operated in a non-autonomous mode has been established for K-4th grade. Participants in recent contests have ranged from second grade to college seniors. The flexibility and accessibility of the contest support a wide array of education objectives including course integration, club activities, freshman design, science fairs, senior design projects, and more. An overview of the basic robot contest rules and strategies as well as results of recent competitions will be presented below.
2.0 Robot Contest Rules and Strategies
The objective of the Robo-TrailBlazers contest is to design an autonomous robot, or a collaborating team of robots, which is capable of navigating from a start position to a goal position, on a 8 foot by 8 foot flat arena, in a minimum amount of time (see figure
Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education
Avanzato, R. (2002, June), Mobile Robot Navigation Contest For Undergraduate Design And K 12 Outreach Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. https://peer.asee.org/10815
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