Xenia Daily Gazette
CEDARVILLE – A team of freshmen and sophomore engineering students from Cedarville University will look to capture the school’s fourth-straight national title in this year’s Autonomous Robotics Competition at the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference in New Orleans on Monday, June 27.
Cedarville’s team won last year’s competition in Seattle with a score of 291.51 points — well ahead of second-place Monroe Community College (226.63). Cedarville was the only team (out of 15) to complete a successful run in the actual competition portion of last year’s event.
This year’s competition requires teams to design and build autonomous robots that can deposit one ring in each of 12 boxes located along the “parade route” on a specified track.
Cedarville’s team will use a dual-robot to navigate the course this year. The team’s ultimate goal is for the robots, named “Sonic” and “Tales,” to each deposit six rings around the course.
The Autonomous Robotics Competition combines electrical, mechanical and computer engineering, as well as computer science elements, making it a great learning experience for competitors in all engineering disciplines.
The competition is also limited to freshmen and sophomore students, which makes it unique from many other college engineering competitions.
“One of the great things about this competition is that it’s limited to just freshmen and sophomores,” said Clint Kohl, Ph.D., professor of computer engineering and the team’s adviser. “Nearly all other robotics competitions at the college level are filled with upperclassmen, so this gives students a chance to put their classroom knowledge to practice.”
Robots are given maximum of 90 seconds in each of their four allotted runs. A run will be considered successful when all 12 rings are deposited into their respective boxes. Nearly 20 teams from around the country are expected to compete in the event.
“This year’s course isn’t quite as complicated as last year, but it will still be challenging,” said Kohl. “We’ve got the robots working well right now, but we definitely have room to improve, and that’s where our focus is leading up to the competition.”