It’s a ‘Toss-Up’ for CS Students in VEX Robotics Competition

03-27-2014
Writer(s): Jesica Hollinger

The ACM SIGBOTS club at Purdue will be competing in the VEX Robotics Competition with college and university students around the globe this Saturday (March 29) in the Lawson Computer Science Building.

 Students are challenged to build the most innovative robots possible, earning points based on a variety of criteria. The competition qualifies teams who will advance to the VEX World Championship April 23-26 in Anaheim, California. More than 500 teams are expected to compete in the two-day event.

 This year’s theme, The VEX Toss Up, challenges team robots to score Buckyballs and Large Balls into the Middle Zone, Goal Zone, and Cylindrical Goal on a 12X12 field, as quickly as possible. Teams score by moving the large and small balls into the middle of field, into the goal zone of the field, then stashing them in the cylinders at the end of the field.

 In 2013, the SIGBOTS defeated fifty other teams to earn second place in the programming skills competition.  The team also was selected for the Innovation Award, during the VEX World Championship.  SIGBOTS distinguished themselves from their competitors by developing a custom operating system that allowed implementation of more advanced algorithms and interfacing with more powerful sensors.

 The VEX Robotics competitions are designed to offers students an exciting platform for learning about career opportunities that span science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The technology students create for the competition extends beyond science and engineering principles, fostering teamwork, leadership skills and advanced problem solving skills to students who participate.