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NASA's Swarmathon Improves Student Skills in Robotics, Computer Science


A Swarmie robot, with grippers.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration Swarmathon robotic programming competition drew students from colleges and universities all over the country.

Credit: NASA

Students from colleges and universities across the U.S. recently participated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) third annual Swarmathon, a robotic programming competition.

Participants were tasked with developing software code to operate small robotic vehicles called "Swarmies," which were equipped with sensors, a Web camera, a global-positioning system, and a Wi-Fi antenna.

The contest called for Swarmies to search walled arenas for small cubes with bar-code-like tags, using student-invented search algorithms to execute such activities.

The competition is designed to enhance students' skills in robotics and computer science, advancing technology for future space exploration.

"Swarmathon students gain experience with code integration, hardware testing, software engineering, project management, and team collaboration critical to their future success in robotics and computer science," says Theresa Martinez with NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project.

From SpaceDaily
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