UNK hosts 12th Annual Robotic Basketball contest

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Updated: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:26:55 CST

It's not your typical game of horse, "Our robot really depends on the balls landing in that corner. These players are locked and loaded for a game of hoops. Anything in this area, our robots are going to fail on."

On Tuesday, UNK hosted the 12th annual robotic basketball 3-point shooting contest.

"Oh this is a fun project."

Computer Science students have been grinding their gears for the last six weeks building, coding, and testing robots; attempting to create the next 3-point shooting machine.

"And then you just click go.  And the arm goes back far enough to get some momentum.  And then the ball will go that way."

In the past, students have just worked on virtual projects. Designed on a computer in front of them without having to account for the outside world. This time they're stepping behind the line and facing new challenges.
"It takes several iterations of redesigning and reprogramming in order to get it to where they were today and its been a lot of hard work."
After many makes and misses, students are learning some valuable lessons...
"You're not always going to get things right the first time.  It takes a lot of hard work to get a good finished product to compete in a competition like this or even to put something out in the real world."
Students used computer programs such as java or robot-C to design color, infrared and touch sensors to be able to look and dial up from long distance.

"It's been fun.  It's been really stressful but ultimately seeing our product win that really makes me happy.  It was an experience let me tell you."

The teams will be traveling to regionals in Madison, Wisconsin to compete against teams across the entire Midwest. Last year UNK took home the title.