Autonomous outdoor mobile robot Challenge

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Abstract

An outdoor robot design contest, the Mini Grand Challenge, was developed at the Penn State Abington campus to promote advances in robotics education, computer vision, and rapid prototyping. The contest is partly inspired by the DARPA Grand Challenge, but our contest emphasizes low-cost hardware and software solutions, accessibility, spectator interaction, and education. The contest requires autonomous mobile robots to navigate unmarked, paved pathways on a suburban college campus and reach GPS waypoints. Robots must avoid obstacles and robots are also awarded points for interacting and entertaining spectators. A successful robot platform constructed for less than $300 and controlled by a laptop running MATLAB software was developed by undergraduate students. The contest, offered annually, was first offered in 2005 and is open to students at all levels of education (K-12 and college) and beyond. This contest has been used to successfully introduce robotics, systems engineering, computer vision, sensors and other robot technologies into the undergraduate curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalComputers in Education Journal
Volume19
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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