Botball is a national program in which teams of middle and high school students design, build, and program small autonomous mobile robots to compete in a highly charged interactive (but nondestructive) tournament. Botball students learn to program in c, construct feedback and control loops, create electromechanical systems, and integrate it all together while they work on a team. Botball takes place in regional tournaments across the country and culminates in a National Botball Tournament traditionally hosted by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence at its annual conference. This program puts reusable equipment into schools and, at the Botball Teacher Workshops, trains teachers in robotics and the integration of robotics into their curriculum.
The Eighth Annual Mobile Robot Competition and Exhibition was held as part of the Sixteenth National Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Orlando, Florida, 18 to 22 July. The goals of these robot events are to foster the sharing of research and technology, allow research groups to showcase their achievements, encourage students to enter robotics and AI fields at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and increase awareness of the field. The 1999 events included two robot contests; a new, long-term robot challenge; an exhibition; and a National Botball Championship for high school teams sponsored by the KISS Institute. Each of these events is described in detail in this article.
The 1995 Robot Competition and Exhibition was held in Montreal, Canada, in conjunction with the 1995 International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence. The competition was designed to demonstrate state-of-the-art autonomous mobile robots, highlighting such tasks as goal-directed navigation, feature detection, object recognition, identification, and physical manipulation as well as effective human-robot communication. The competition consisted of two separate events: (1) Office Delivery and (2) Office Cleanup. The exhibition also consisted of two events: (1) demonstrations of robotics research that was not related to the contest and (2) robotics focused on aiding people who are mobility impaired.