View the official judging sheet for the Computation & Robotics category here.

View the official category description for the Computation & Robotics category here.

Computer science is the study of the principles and use of computers. Included in that is the design of software that performs tasks. Robotics often involves computer science but adds the design, and application of physical components that perform tasks. Entrants in this category design, build, and operate mechanical and/or software constructions.

Here are the "must-haves" for an effective Computation & Robotics project:

Entries in this category will create all or part of a functional program or automated device.

When thinking about your design, the focus is on the physical design (user interface) of the entry. Sensors and/or operator input must be appropriate and understandable for the planned purpose(s). Manipulators and/or displays should be used as needed to accomplish the desired tasks. Physical or interface construction also should be appropriate and elegant.

Functionality is also a key part of this category. Operational methods of the software or robot should be complete and appropriate for the purpose. The design should allow for variables in the operating environment and error handling. Operation should be repeatable and consistent with the planned function.

Advanced entries will take alternate operation based on variations in operating parameters into consideration. They will also show an efficiency of design (whether software code or mechanical design).

The project display should show the following:

  • A working robot or sub-assembly or, if software, the working software should be presented
  • The function or purpose of the robot or software should be described
  • The description and clarification of any sub-components should be explained
  • A description of the methodology used to operate the robot or software may be included

The following items are also often included in the display:

  • A written document that defines the functional specification of the entry
  • Documented code listing
  • The way the entry relates to real-world applications

Sample Computation & Robotics Projects:

The images below are from the 2017 Placer County STEM Expo