Using robot competitions to promote intellectual development
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This article discusses five years of experience using three international mobile robot competitions as the foundation for educational projects in undergraduate and graduate computer science courses. The three competitions - (1) AAAI Mobile Robot, (2) AUVS Unmanned Ground Robotics, and (3) IJCAI RoboCup - were used in different years for an introductory undergraduate robotics course, an advanced graduate robotics course, and an undergraduate practicum course. Based on these experiences, a strategy is presented for incorporating competitions into courses in such a way as to foster intellectual maturation as well as learn lessons in organizing courses and fielding teams. The article also provides a classification of the major robot competitions and discusses the relative merits of each for educational projects, including the expected course level of computer science students, equipment needed, and costs.
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