Robotics & Computer Science

Robotics icon for STEM Expo

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 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:

  • General requirements and 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


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