UNK robotics team wins regional competition

Contact: Sherri Harms, computer science and information systems, 308-865-8123, harmssk@unk.edu

Kearney, Neb., April 25, 2013 — University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Computer Science and Information Systems Robotics Team of Travis Anderson, Tyler Neal and Naoki Ishikawa won the regional Midwest Instructional Computing Symposium robotics competition in La Crosse, Wis., on April 19. University students from the seven-state area (Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois) competed at the event.

The UNK team received a first place prize cash award of $500.

In the competition, student teams designed, built and programmed robots to autonomously play a “capture the flag” game. On each attempt, a robot was allowed a maximum four minutes to navigate the grid-maze world and attempt to capture the opponent robot’s flag and return home. Navigation of the grid-world was complicated by up to three obstacles placed within the grid-world.

The robot that successfully achieved its mission in the shortest combined time was the winner. In the implementation of their autonomous robots, student teams used advanced programming techniques and designed their robots to respond to various sensors, including compass, ultrasonic, tach, and light sensors. Students had to create the interplay between the physical design of their robot and the mental capacity they programmed into the robot in solving a problem.

From left: Travis Anderson, Tyler Neal, Naoki Ishikawa

· Travis Anderson is a junior computer science major from Kearney.

· Tyler Neal is a junior computer science major from Grand Island

· Naoki Ishikawa is sophomore computer science major from Saginomiya, Japan




– Kelly Bartling