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Finding the “Right” Robot Competition: Targeting Non-Engineering Undergraduates. Susan Eileen Fox Macalester College. Motivating questions. Why do we hold robot contests? How do we match our goals to the contest activities? How can we, as a community, share good ideas more effectively?.

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finding the right robot competition targeting non engineering undergraduates

Finding the “Right” Robot Competition: Targeting Non-Engineering Undergraduates

Susan Eileen Fox

Macalester College

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

motivating questions
Motivating questions
  • Why do we hold robot contests?
  • How do we match our goals to the contest activities?
  • How can we, as a community, share good ideas more effectively?

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

macalester robot day
Macalester “Robot Day”

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

goals for the contest
Goals for the Contest
  • Create a fun extracurricular activity
  • Raise the profile of AI and robotics
  • Work with students, encourage future research collaborators
  • Engage students with concepts from robotics and AI

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

outcomes
Outcomes
  • Create a fun extracurricular activity
  • Raise the profile of AI and robotics
  • Work with students, encourage future research collaborators (2006)
  • Engage students with concepts from robotics and AI

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

what are my options
What Are My Options?
  • “World-class” competitions: Robocup, AUVSI
  • Undergraduate engineering competitions: Jerry Sanders Creative Design, Micro Mouse
  • K-12 and Hobbyist competitions: Botball, ChiBot
  • A few great models: Bob Avanzato @ Penn State Abington, some presented here

TONS of contests: how can we find models to fit our goals

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

robot contest repository
Robot Contest Repository

A searchable repository of information about robot competitions/exhibitions

  • Goals of contest
  • Target audience
  • Possible tasks
  • How-to information

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Robot contests are fun, and can be valuable to students
  • Creating contests from scratch is a lot of work: best shared among a community
  • Acknowledge and support the wide range of goals and participants!

Susan Fox, Macalester College, AAAI Spring Symposium 2007

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