Jul 16, 2008

2008 Global Conference on Educational Robotics


Last week, Fay, my son and myself attended GCER at the University of Oklahoma. The conference is sponsored by Google, NASA and a host of universities and foundations. The conference link is here.

The competitive portion of the conference, called "Botball", is conceptually similar to LEGO League. Middle and high-school students compete using robots that perform tasks and navigate obstacles. 300 teams from around the world compete in regional tournaments before competing internationally.

Some similarities to LEGO League:

1) Robots use Technic pieces in their construction.
2) The RCX is allowed, but I saw none during the 2008 competition.

Some differences with LEGO League:

1) Teams use two robots simultaneously during their runs: a specially-fitted Roomba and a "Rover", which operate independently from each other.
2) CMU cameras are used instead of sensors.
3) The software used is "Interactive C", available here.

What follows are some photos of the competition. All of the photos were taken by me, with the exception of the last. (Thanks to "BotGuy" on Flickr for the final photo):





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