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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Duel in the Desert goes tech

    From left, electrical engineering senior Tony Leung, computer engineering senior Joe Joyce, computer engineering senior John Stockbauer, electrical engineering senior Michael Anderson and computer engineering Thanh Ho stand behind the robot they built for the Arizona Intel Robot Challenge taking place tomorrow in Tempe against ASU.
    From left, electrical engineering senior Tony Leung, computer engineering senior Joe Joyce, computer engineering senior John Stockbauer, electrical engineering senior Michael Anderson and computer engineering Thanh Ho stand behind the robot they built for the Arizona Intel Robot Challenge taking place tomorrow in Tempe against ASU.

    The UA will have another chance to gain bragging rights over ASU today.

    But it won’t be in sports. Try with robots.

    Both schools will compete for gift cards and school pride from 2-5 p.m. in the 2008 Arizona Intel Robotics Challenge at Arizona State University’s Brickyard 221 in Tempe.

    Five computer engineering students will represent the UA against three teams of 19 total students from ASU.

    The competition is serving as some UA seniors’ required capstone design project. The UA team is comprised of electrical engineering seniors Thanh Ho, John Stockbauer, Michael Anderson and Tony Leung, as well as Joe Joyce, a junior majoring in public management and policy.

    “”I am proud of the team and lucky that they are so dedicated and motivated,”” said Ho, the team leader. “”We feel confident in what we have done.””

    The teams’ respective robot will be graded on a series of five activities pertaining to home life. The team with the highest set of grades will win.

    While meant for domestic use, robots will be expected to patrol a simulated office area with cubicles, said Charles Higgins, the UA team’s technical adviser and an associate professor in computer engineering.

    They will have to map and be familiar with the area, and also detect objects that might not belong.

    If a robot detects an object, it will be expected to transmit a picture to its team’s station.

    The robot will also be tested on its ability to detect intruders. The robot has to confront an intruder and ask for a security code.

    Additionally, boiling water will be used to simulate a fire, which the robot should be able to detect. Upon detecting heat, the robot should set off an alarm.

    Ho said he was both excited and nervous for tomorrow’s competition.

    “”We also really appreciate our academic advisers’ help,”” he said. “”They have done more than they needed to, to help us.””

    Yinong Chen, the ASU adviser, said his teams have been hard at work this week.

    “”These robots are really complex, and two of our teams started on this project only two months ago,”” he said. “”The students are really excited to have this opportunity and this big challenge.””

    The UA team confronted a major challenge of its own halfway through the building process, according to Higgins.

    Intel contacted both schools to suggest a competition be set up, the company donated $5,000 and two computers to the UA to aid in its participation, he said.

    But halfway through the construction, Intel suddenly dropped its support, and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering had to provide the remaining resources, he said.

    “”Interest from Intel has waned, so there is only going to be one more competition,”” Higgins said. “”That will be next year.””

    The event will be broadcast live at dmit.asu.edu/live/multicast.html.

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