Botball Madness Comes to USD
Friday, April 1, 2011
The University of San Diego hosts its own version of “March Madness” this Saturday, March 19 with the annual Southern California Botball Tournament.
The tournament features 31 students teams from grades 7 – 12 from all over Southern California who will compete using the robots they have worked on for seven weeks. Because the robots are light-sensitive, the best times for filming are the practice sessions between 8:30 to 10 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Finals for the competition will be at 4:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow. The competition takes place at USD’s Sports Center, just east of the main campus entrance at the top of Linda Vista Road.
Botball involves using autonomous robots without remote controls to complete a series of tasks such as gathering and collecting objects in a limited amount of time. Sensors and cameras give input to the robots which help identify scoring objects.
Botball is an educational program organized by the Norman, Oklahoma-based KISS Institute for Practical Robotics that emphasizes learning basic principles of engineering and computer programming through direct experience with working robots. KISS is a National Partner in Education of the NASA Robotics Education Project. USD’s Institute of College Initiatives and the USD Engineering Programs are co-sponsors of the event.