Robot Racing is an effort to promote research in autonomous mobile robotics technology in a structure that is challenging and exciting, for both the competitors and spectators. The competition provides students with real-world, hands-on engineering design challenges, including components of mechanical, computer, control software, and system integration. Students work together to design and build robotic vehicles that can navigate twisting, obstacle-filled courses without any human guidance or control. Everyone must work together to design and build a robot that integrates advanced control theory, machine vision, and electronics into a vehicle designed to handle rough terrain. While this competition provides for the prizes, it is understood that participating so as to strengthen your team-building and leadership skills is the underlying purpose of the competition.
Technologies involved in the Robot Racing challenge come from a wide range of disciplines of interest to both industry and engineering education. Engineering students in all disciplines today do well to have a familiarity with each of these technologies. These technologies are vital to today’s emerging industries. These robots are finding their way in applications such as space exploration, mining, search and rescue, remote sensing and automotive inspection. Some autonomous robots are even becoming common around the home for routine tasks such as vacuuming, mowing lawns, parking cars, and in future, driving cars.
The first competition was held in April 2005, and the event is now in its 11th year. We usually receive a minimum of 9 to 11 team entries, including 60+ students from universities all over Canada and the USA.