UW News

December 17, 2001

Robots tee off in UW electrical engineering cyber-golf tournament

UW robotics students, K-12 observers, College of Engineering faculty and staff and 13 self-controlled robot golfers

A tournament featuring student-designed and built golfing robots

Tee-time is 1 p.m. TODAY, Dec. 17

Room 003, in the upper basement of the New Electrical Engineering Building on the UW campus. The building is located on Stevens Way, just east of the Rainier Vista and Sylvan Grove.

Thirteen custom-designed, autonomous robots will vie for bragging rights as mechanized golf master in a tournament designed to test the mettle of students in an electrical engineering capstone course, EE 462, Principles of Mobile Robotics. The robots, built by two-student teams, represent the practical applications of principles the students have learned during the fall quarter. The creations, which are completely self-controlled — once the students let them go they are on their own — are constructed from Lego building blocks and an array of motors and sensors. The only design constraint put on the students was that the robots fit within a 9-inch cube. “As a result, we have a wide variety of designs — they’re all different,” said Linda Bushnell, professor of electrical engineering who teaches the course. Two robots will play at a time on the 4-foot by 6-foot field, each attempting to be the first to locate eight golf balls and drop them through a 3-inch hole. If one ro!
bot finishes first, it can attempt to block the other robot’s play. Each round is timed for five-minutes. In addition to the UW participants, students from a number of area K-12 schools have been invited to take part as spectators.


For more information, contact Bushnell at (206) 221-6717 or bushnell@ee.washington.edu or Department of Electrical Engineering spokesman Tim Wade at (206) 221-5920 or twade@ee.washington.edu.