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Autonomous Robot Speedway Competition Showcases Student Talent

Autonomous Robot Speedway Competition Showcases Student Talent

Photo by Paul Ferretti
Photo by Paul Ferretti

The University of Maryland hosted the second annual Autonomous Robot Speedway Competiton (ARSC) on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. in the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building Rotunda on the College Park campus. The event was sponsored by the Washington, DC Chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Robotics and Automation Society (IEEE-RAS) and Maryland's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This year's competition attracted 12 competing student teams, including teams from Prof. Gil Blankenship's 408I Autonomous Robotics Capstone Design Course and the Robotics@Maryland student organization. The Autonomous Systems Lab Team 2 won first place and took home the grand prize of $250. The Autonomous Systems Lab Team 1 placed second and received a $150 prize. The Wall-E team placed third and received $100.

The competition required each team’s autonomous robot to race around an array of traffic cones organized in a circular shape in the rotunda of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building. The competition was originally scheduled to take place outdoors, but rain forced the event inside. The robots' autonomous navigation included obstacle avoidance, dead reckoning, telemetry, onboard sensor processing, computer vision. This systems engineering exercise provided students engaged in the competition with an opportunity to practice an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to solving problems and optimizing performance.

To see photos from the event, please click on the following links:

For more information about the event, please visit

November 6, 2009

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