Robotics & Computer Science

Robotics icon for STEM Expo

Please note: We are in the process of updating our Category Descriptions and Rubrics for STEM Expo 5  (March 7, 2015) - these should be updated by December 1, 2014.

Robotics Definition

A robot is a mechanical or virtual intelligent agent that can perform tasks 
automatically or with guidance, often by remote control. Robots can be autonomous,
semi-autonomous or remotely controlled. 

Computer Science Definition:

Computer Science deals with the theory and methods of processing information
in digital computers, the design of computer hardware and software, and the 
applications of computers.

The participant in the robotics and Computer Science category must design a robot or a robotic device that accomplishes a specific purpose, or develop and present a new piece of software.


A successful Robotics entry must have the following:

  • Description paper explaining operation and functionality of components - can include illustrations and/or images
  • Mock-up of key components or fully functional robot


Additional judging will be based on the following:

  • Purpose of robot logical and explainable
  • Mechanical design is elegant and appropriate
  • Efficient parts use, with no extraneous pieces (except pieces specifically for decoration)
  • Manipulators are used as needed to do tasks appropriate to their design
  • If mobile, drive train is accurate, consistent, and controllable
  • If mobile, steering system is accurate, consistent, and controllable
  • Sensors are used appropriately / Sensors guarantee certain actions in every trial
  • Design allows for variables (power, environment, etc.)
  • Software Programs (if applicable) do what is needed, with allowance for variables
  • Software Programs (if applicable) are documented, explained, and understood
  • Safety considerations are in place
  • Description paper describes purpose of robot as a whole
  • Description paper describes operation of individual components
  • Each component/sub-system is described, with no needed components missing
  • Illustrations/Images appropriate and understandable (and labeled correctly)
  • Description paper organized and well written
  • The system presented is innovative and creative
  • The robot shows completeness of thought and cause and effect are clearly explained
  • The robot relates to real world applications
  • The robot and/or it’s purpose is original or innovative
  • The methodology/materials/design are innovative or creative in approach
  • Degree of complexity