Robotics & Computer Science

Robotics and Computer Science Icon

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 (autonomous), semi-autonomous, or
​remotely controlled. Both computers and robots are designed to be used for one or more specific purposes.

Pertinent Information and Definitions

Please be sure to read the Entry Rules and General Requirements for all participants, available here

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 and error handling
  • 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.

  • 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

Additional items that may be explained as part of the entry include:

  • Considerations for alternative operation based on variations in operating parameters
  • Documented code or design information
  • Efficiency of design (software code and /or mechanical design)

Entry, Review, and Judging

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

  • Entry rules and general requirements judging points
  • Physical design and/or 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

The presented display will be evaluated for consideration as part of the Creative Arts award category (see section 8)


Please review the judging rubric for this category, and the entry rules and general requirements for other items that may be considered.