Alabama Robotics Competition
Competition Date: April 5, 2014
Photos, results, and contest problems for the 2014 contest are available here.
Come test your computer programming skills and compete with other Alabama students for cool prizes! A fun day is planned with educational experiences, food and social activities. The Alabama Robotics Competition is an event where students write programs that navigate their robot across a series of obstacle courses. Awards will be given out in several categories across multiple grade levels (elementary school, middle school, and high school).
The initial flyer describing the event is available here. Please use the navigation bar above for additional information.
Why another robotics competition?
There are several excellent robotics competitions that already exist, such as the popular BEST Robotics events in Alabama and the world-wide FIRST Lego League competitions. This new contest complements these other events by filling in missing gaps of participation. After hearing from various K-12 teachers, it has been observed that a competition is needed in Alabama that met the following goals:
- A competition that is open to all grades in K-12.
- An event in the Spring that offers students studying robotics additional activities to pursue throughout the entire school year (rather than just a Fall focus).
- An emphasis on programming skills, resulting in autonomous robot control, rather than a robot that is maneuvered by a remote control. Points are scored in this new competition based on the clever solutions of student programs, rather than the skill of a teammate with a remote control.
- A registration fee that is affordable - only $25 per participant (several Lego competitions have registration, fees, and kit costs over $1,000).
The competition is open to all Alabama students (public, private, or home schools) across all grade levels (elementary, middle, high schools).
Teams consist of 2-5 participants. We have space for approximately 60 teams. The registration fee is $25 per participant.
The contest will feature several obstacle courses that must be navigated over a three-hour period by an autonomous robot that is programmed by each team.
Robot programs to navigate the obstacle course may be written in any language (e.g., Mindstorms LabView, Java/Lejos, RobotC, C#, etc). It is assumed that participants already know how to program in their selected language prior to the contest.
Students will use their own robots and their own computers to compete in the contest. Robots should be assembled in a base configuration prior to the competition.
Each registered student will receive a pizza lunch, snack break, contest bag, T-shirt, and a certificate of participation. Teachers and family members will have access to onsite meals for a fee.
Prizes and awards will be given to the top-four teams in each division (Elementary School, Middle School, High School).
Teachers, parents and family are encouraged to attend (please let us know on the registration form). In addition to viewing the competition, special sessions will be provided to visitors during the event.
- Each school may submit up to three team pre-registrations - a Primary team and two Alternate teams. Each team will have its own pre-registration (i.e., both Primary and Alternate teams must be registered separately). We are accepting pre-registration for both types of teams, but not able to comment on the space availability of the Alternate teams until after March 1, 2014.
- We will invite all Primary teams to the contest on a first-come first-served basis, up to the 60-team limit (if we have more Primary teams than availability, we will invite Primary teams on a First Come/First Serve basis until we are full).
- By March 1st, if we do not yet have 60 Primary teams, we will begin to invite Alternate teams on a FCFS basis.
- After pre-registering, participants will be sent instructions on how to pay their registration fee.
- When entering information in the Team Name box, please enter EACH TEAM MEMBER ON A SINGLE ROW and provide the following information: information for each member in the form as <Full Name>, <Grade Level>, <Shirt Size>. For example:
Joe Smith, 6, M
Sally Smith, 5, S
Suzy Smith, 6, S
- March 1, 2014: Pre-Registration Deadline for Primary Teams before Alternates are Invited
- April 5, 2014: Alabama Robotics Competition
Other Events in the Department: 2014 Summer Camps
The Department of Computer Science is also hosting three weeks of summer computer camps (1 week of middle school for commuter students and 2 weeks of dorm/commuter camps for high school). The camps are focused on Java, robotics programming, and Android programming. More information about the 2014 Summer Camps is available here.
We gratefully acknowledge the following sponsors for providing support to the Robotics Contest: