In the 2023 contest, there were 55 teams participating from 40 different schools (237 overall students competing and over 400 parents/teachers attending).
Below are several links and information about the 2023 event.
The award winners received a textbook from zyBooks, a Visa gift card, and a trophy. The following teams and participants received awards at the 2023 event (the team numbers can be cross-referenced with the official contest schedule and team rosters for student names).
The volunteers and organizers of the 2023 event were:
Implementation of unconventional materials has reshaped traditional robotics applications and introduced new use cases for robots—but which materials should we use? Creativity plays a key role in answering this question. First, I will discuss robotic components made from non-living materials derived from living organisms, called “biotic” materials, that have been naturally optimized over millennia by evolution. Second, I will describe how fabric sheets can be formed into completely soft, electronics-free pneumatic computers and integrated into assistive wearable robots for low-level control. These two research areas highlight how robotics has become an interdisciplinary field open to scientists and engineers from all backgrounds and interests.
Dr. Daniel J. Preston directs the Preston Innovation Laboratory at Rice University conducting robotics research at the intersection of energy, materials, and fluids. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, the ASME Old Guard Early Career Award, and the Energy Polymer Group Certificate of Excellence. Dr. Preston earned his B.S. (2012) in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama and his M.S. (2014) and Ph.D. (2017) in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following his graduate degrees, he trained as a postdoctoral fellow from 2017–2019 at Harvard University in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology prior to joining Rice University as an assistant professor.
We are very grateful to AM/NS Calvert, Firia Labs, and zyBooks as our main corproate sponsors, as well as the UA Department of Computer Science!