CNM Team Comes Home from England with Robotics Competition Awards

April 12, 2017 -- A CNM student team participating in an international robotic competition recently in Cambridge, England, came home with a first place in one event and a second place in their division.
April 12, 2017

The students, the only team from the U.S., competed against 36 teams from England and Europe in Pi Wars, a challenge-based robotics competition in which robots controlled by small “Raspberry Pi” computers are created by teams and then compete in various challenges to earn points.

CNM team members included Eric Rector, Alex Summerlin, James Corriz and Larry Rodriguez, who are all majoring in Computer Information Systems (CIS).

The CNM students built their competitive robot, which fits on an 8 by 10 inch sheet of paper, out of the salvaged housing of a computer DVD drive. It is controlled by the Raspberry Pi, a tiny credit card-sized computer that can be programmed to do a variety of functions.

The first day of the event was devoted to elementary and middle school competitions. Two CNM students judged an obstacle course, keeping time and assisting in score keeping.

The next day all four CNM students competed against 36 teams that were made up of high school and college students, families and some professionals in what CNM faculty advisor Kerry Bruce called the “big kids playing with robots” competition.

The CNM team came in first overall in the Slightly Deranged Golf competition, which involved robots navigating a course, of unknown design, attempting to get a real golf ball into a hole. 

They also came in second place overall in their division.

“This was a good experience for our team,” Bruce said. “They spent over 35 hours a week for 12 weeks preparing, and they did well in the competition.”

He anticipates that more CNM students will want to participate in the international competition next year.