Student Robotics Competition Using Robolab and Lego Bricks


Engineering-based competitions can provide an educational environment that integrates technical skills and teamwork. While many competitions require significant activity prior to the event, an introductory competition can be designed that requires minimal advance preparation and technical knowledge. Such an event could be used as an engineering experience for precollege teachers and students, first-year engineering majors, and multidisciplinary teams. A model for an introductory robotics competition is described based on Robolab and Lego systems. The technical culmination of the competition is to build and program a Lego vehicle for a fast and slow race. The winners create the fastest vehicle for a five-meter race and the slowest vehicle for a 0.5-meter race. Other objectives such as following a line through a simple course could be used. The approach consists of an afternoon training session and an evening competition. The training incorporates fundamental concepts of engineering and software programming. This competition was implemented and assessed for precollege teachers and students at the IEEE GLOBECOM 2005 technical conference. The intent was to provide an outreach hands-on experience in engineering to complement the participation of the precollege attendees in the conference activities. Similar introductory competitions can be used as precollege outreach activities for professional and university meetings, as teamwork activities for first-year engineering students, or as social interaction among engineering student groups.


Electrical and Computer Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Keywords and Phrases

Engineering Competitions; Engineering Curriculum; Student Technical Competitions

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2006 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.