Suburban outdoor challenge for autonomous mobile robots

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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 can be used to successfully introduce computer vision and other robot technologies into the undergraduate curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008

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Mobile robots
Robots
Education
Computer vision
Students
Rapid prototyping
Curricula
MATLAB
Global positioning system
Robotics
Hardware
Costs

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

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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 can be used to successfully introduce computer vision and other robot technologies into the undergraduate curriculum.",
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