The Macalester Student Chapter of the ACM
(Association for Computing Machinery)
invites you to the 2nd annual
Lego Robot Competition
When: Saturday, April 20, noon to 5pm
Where: Gallery of the Olin-Rice Science Center
Contact: Susan Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Teams of students will work for roughly one month to build and program a Lego-type robot to perform a specified task. Each team should have three students, and should build a single robot with a single controller. Each team will demonstrate its robot during the robot competition time, having a chance to explain their design. Prizes will be awarded based on speed and accuracy, with bonuses for clever designs. The robot's task will be posted on the Robotics Lab web site.
Any student who has done a cool or fun project relating to robotics or artificial intelligence is invited to give a demo of their project on this day. Demonstrations will occur simultaneously with the competition. The default demonstration time is fifteen minutes, but variations are possible. Let Susan Fox know if you'd like to demonstrate a project. You'll need to provide a project title and two-sentence description by Wednesday, April 17.
In order to allow for the broad variation in robot kits available, the competition will have minimal restrictions on what sort of robots may be used. Any Lego-scale robot is acceptable, though those using a non-Lego chassis (for example, a Rug Warrior) or a controller other than Mindstorm, Handyboard, or one of the Handyboard's precursors should seek prior approval from Susan Fox.
Each team must create one robot, controlled with a single controller. The robot should operate untethered from a base computer. The robot must fit within a 10 inch x 10 inch x10 inch box to start with. Otherwise, the form and structure of the robot is not constrained. The robot will almost certainly need at least light sensors and touch sensors. There is no limit placed on how many sensors the robot has, nor on the use of other sorts of sensors. We may award prizes separately based on sensor differences, if performance is clearly affected.
On the Day
Teams may arrive at any time from 11am onward, to set up and get ready for the contest. Lunch will be provided to participants.
Promptly at 1pm, the contest will begin. Each team will be assigned a 20 minute time slot: 5 minutes for set-up and 15 minutes for the robot to complete the task. Since the point of this event is as much fun as competition, the time schedule will be flexible. If a robot fail to perform as expected the team may try again at a later point.
Teams will have access to computing resources (Windows, Mac, or Linux) to make last-minute changes to the robot's software. Each team should bring any required connectors and software. Teams are also welcome to bring their own laptops to use. Table space will be provided for teams to work on their robots.
Students at schools other than Macalester should contact their local faculty coordinator about forming a team. At Macalester, contact Susan Fox. By the Wednesday before the event, all schools should inform Susan Fox of the number of teams participating, for planning the lunch event. Please inform her of any special requirements (computing, personal) that pertain to the event itself.
Directions to Macalester
Check out the campus map on the Macalester web site for additional information.
Traveling West on I-94: Exit I-94 at Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul. Turn left (south) onto Snelling and travel south past Summit and Grand Avenues (you will be passing Macalester College campus on the right from Summit on). Turn right at the traffic light at St. Clair Avenue. Take the second driveway on the right (Macalester Drive) past the playing fields. Park in the spaces between the tennis courts and Olin-Rice, and enter Olin-Rice through the entry facing the tennis courts.
Traveling East on I-94: Exit I-94 at Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul. Turn right (south) onto Snelling and follow the directions above.
Traveling North on I-35E: Exit 35E at Randolph Avenue and head west to Snelling Avenue. Turn right, and continue north on Snelling. Turn left at the traffic light at St. Clair Avenue, then take the second driveway on the right (Macalester Drive) past the playing fields. Park in the spaces between the tennis courts and Olin-Rice, and enter Olin-Rice through the entry facing the tennis courts.
The following list contains a few suggestions for interesting and useful web sites and information. It does not pretend to be complete, please e-mail additional interesting URLs to Susan Fox, they will be added to the web version of this document.
http://www.macalester.edu/research/fox/robotday.html is this document.
§http://mindstorms.lego.com/ is the official web site for the Lego Mindstorms.
http://www.crynwr.com/lego-robotics/ contains information about Mindstorm internals including alternative programming languages.