CSU, Chico News

Robotics Team Takes First, Third Place in Micromouse Category at 2013 RoboGames

Date: 06-06-2013

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Renee Renner
Computer Sciences

The California State University, Chico Robotics Team took home gold and bronze medals recently for their design of motorized microcomputers at a prestigious international robotics competition.

The cross-disciplinary team of CSU, Chico students captured the top prizes in the Micromouse/Maze category at the 2013 RoboGames held in San Mateo, Calif., April 19-21. The micromouse competition is based on the construction of miniature robot mice controlled by a microcontroller. Each mouse has to find its way through an arbitrary maze, competing with other mice to see which one finds the center of the maze in the least amount of time. Each micromouse can make several different attempts, “remembering” and then calculating the shortest route.

The 14-student team represented several departments on campus, including computer science, mechanical and mechatronic engineering and sustainable manufacturing, and electrical and computer engineering. The team also included three Brazilian exchange students and two Saudi graduate students.

The 2013 RoboGames pitted competitors from more than 17 countries against each other in 59 different technological and mechanical matchups. This year’s competition marked the 10th annual world championship and showcased more than 700 robotic creations in almost every conceivable form. The event has been deemed the World's Largest Robot Competition by the Guinness Book of World Records and one of the Best 10 North American Geek Fests by Wired magazine.

The Chico State team also competed in the humanoid and sumobot categories, submitting about a dozen robotic entries in all. They built two additional micromice on-site in as many hours to ensure the minimum threshold of entries was met for the contest.

“It was nothing short of inspiring to observe the dedication, skill and teamwork exhibited by these interdisciplinary teammates,” said computer sciences professor Renee Renner, who accompanied the team to the competition. “Their sportsmanship throughout the weekend’s events was applaudable.”

For more information on the 2013 Robogames, visit www.robogames.net.