Key Components to Outreach Program
The Robot Competitions (see more robot contest details)
The objective of fire-fighting robot competition is to design an autonomous mobile robot that can successfully navigate a maze, locate a candle, and extinguish the candle in the least amount of time. Preliminary contest have been held annually at Abington each April of 1995 to the present. Following each of the local preliminary contests, high school and Penn State Abington teams traveled to Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut to participate in the national fire-fighting robot competition (www.trincoll.edu/~robot). Over 100 robots from throughout the country and several from Canada and Europe compete each year. In 1996, one of the participating high schools, Olney High School, Phila., PA., won 2nd place ($500 award) in the high school division. In April of 1997, a Penn State Abington undergraduate team was awarded first place ($1000) in the senior division at Trinity. Another of our participating high schools, Carver Engineering and Science H.S., Phila., PA was awarded first place ($1000) in the junior division at Trinity in 1998.
The objective of Robo-TrailBlazers is to design an autonomous mobile robot (or a team of collaborating robots) that can follow a line or blaze a trail through unknown territory while avoiding obstacles. The contest is accessible to a wide range of participants from junior high school to college. The contest was held at the Penn State Abington College in December of 1998 and 1999.
The objective of the "Robo-Hoops" competition is to design an autonomous robot that can score points by picking up Nerf balls and shooting or dunking the balls into a basketball net in a head-to-head competition with another robot. The Robo-Hoops competition was hosted by Penn State Abington in December of 1995, 1996, 1997. Sixteen student teams participated in each the 1995 and 1996 contests. The participating high schools were Northeast High School, Olney High School, Carver Engineering and Science, LaSalle high School, and Council Rock High School. The remaining robot teams were represented by freshmen and sophomore engineering students from the Penn State Abington campus. Robo-Hoops was again offered in 2002 and 2003.
Bob Avanzato is an associate professor of engineering at the Penn State Abington
College. Bob teaches engineering, computer science, and Information Sciences and
Technology courses. His research interests include expert systems, mobile
robotics, digital signal processing, and computer technology in the classroom.
Prior to Penn State, Mr. Avanzato was a senior engineer at the Advanced
Technology Laboratories at GE in Moorestown, NJ. Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
More Information About Robotics at Penn State Abington:
See web site: http://www.ecsel.psu.edu/~avanzato/robots/