Robotics & Computer Science

Robotics icon for STEM Expo

Please note: Although the category description has been updated, we are still in the process of updating our Rubrics for STEM Expo 5  (March 7, 2015) - these should be available soon!

Category Description

A robot is a mechanical agent that can perform tasks automatically. Similarly computer science is the 
design of software that can perform tasks. Computer software and robots can both be operated automatically,
semi-autonomous, or remotely controlled. Both are designed to be used for one or more specific purposes.

Pertinent Information and Definitions

Physical Design

Good physical design may refer to mechanical functionality and/or UI (User Interface).

  • Sensors and/or operator input is appropriate and understandable for the planned purpose(s)
  • Manipulators and/or displays are used as needed to accomplish the needed tasks
  • Physical or interface construction is appropriate and elegant

Operational Functionality

Several operability concepts are used to help define the capability of an entry.

  • Operational methods of the software or robot are complete and appropriate for the purpose
  • Design allows for variables in the operating environment
  • Operation is repeatable and consistent with the planned function

Display, Documentation, and Software

The project display should show the following and may include a paper with more information.

  • The function or purpose of the robot or software
  • The description and clarification of any sub-components
  • A description of the operation of the robot or software

Well written software includes the following considerations:

  • Efficient, documented code
  • Considerations for branching based on variations in operating parameters
  • Error handling and recovery

Entry, Review, and Judging

An entry in this category will be reviewed and judged on the following:

  • General requirements and judging points
  • Physical design and operational functionality
  • Software source code evaluation (if applicable) (note: this can be confidential if desired.)
  • Display and documentation provided

Additional items which will affect the review and judging conclusions

  • Entry relates to real-world applications
  • Robot or software and/or the associated purpose is original or innovative
  • Illustrations, images, or other media that is presented as supporting information


Please review the judging rubric for this category for other items that may be considered.