UA to Compete in Intel Corp's Robot Challenge
The UA and ASU prepare for Intel's Arizona Robotics Challenge where each university's technological expertise will be put to the test.

Rebecca Ruiz-McGill
April 4, 2008

The Arizona robot war has begun but don't expect cities to be demolished. This battle is centered around problem solving, cooperation and developmental activities. Intel Corporation is sponsoring the first-ever Arizona Robotics Challenge, which brings together industry and university technology to test the limits of robotics know-how.

The newly-established annual event will pit University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering associate professors Charles Higgins and M. Anthony Lewis and UA computer engineering students against Arizona State University computer science and engineering lecturer Yinong Chen and ASU computer engineering students.

"Intel wants to enable innovative people to bring new products and services that will help improve people's lives around the world. Collaborating with Arizona universities allows us to identify the best and brightest college students in the state. We believe the innovation and ingenuity this type of collaboration brings expands the possibilities of business and university partnerships" said Marcos Garcia Acosta, embedded emerging segments manager at the Embedded Computing Division of Intel Corp.

This year’s Arizona Robotics Challenge consists of a series of educational and developmental competitions, including prototype development of security robots for office environments that can function autonomously or can be commanded through remote monitor stations.

Three ASU senior capstone project teams and two UA senior capstone project teams will participate in the Robotics Challenge. The Challenge will be held in an indoor office environment with a number of cubicles which will serve as the testing ground.

“Consumer robotics is a rapidly growing market, and the real challenge is to make a highly capable robot that's still affordable enough for the home. These students are gaining invaluable experience in practical engineering tradeoffs in the competition," said Higgins.

The team’s robots must have memory and be able to learn the floor plan of the testing ground and prove so by generating and sending a map of the testing area to the monitor station. In addition, the robot must be able to detect objects and/or people placed in the surveillance testing ground and send an alert and transmit a video of the object or person to the station.

The robot must also be able to track and challenge the person with a security code or password should they move about the testing area and serve as a fire alarm should it detect intense heat.

The winning team will walk away with the prestige of robotic superiority.

Extra info


2008 Arizona Intel Robotics Challenge


Arizona State University Brickyard 221, 699 S. Mill Avenue, Tempe, Ariz.


April 11 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The event is free an open to the public.


Resources for the media

Charles Higgins

Electrical and Computer Engineering