University of Maryland Extension

Robotics

Maryland State 4-H Robotics Challenge

The Maryland State 4-H Robotics Challenge provides the opportunity for  members to participate in an organized statewide robotics activity.  Members in  each county will form teams that will build robots to perform specific tasks.  The county teams will then have the opportunity to compete at the Maryland State Fair.  The Challenge will be divided into two divisions:  the LEGO Challenge and the Robotic Engineering Challenge.  Each of the divisions will be broken down into age divisions.  Both  divisions will have a Jr. Division (8-11), Intermediate Division (11-13) and a Senior Division (14-18). Mixed age teams will be allowed and will participate in the age division of the oldest member on the team.  Teams in the LEGO division will have from 3-8 members and teams in the Robotic Engineering teams will have 2-4 member.  The Robotics Challenges will be released each year on February1st.

Maryland 4-H LEGO CHALLEGE

The LEGO Challenge will have members build robots using the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and LEGO parts.  The challenge will be run on a 4’ X 4’ table.  The robots will be required to start in a home base area and then travel autonomously through out the board completing predetermined tasks.  The  NXT robots will be preprogrammed utilizing  icon based programming software.  The robots will score points as they compete task with in a 2 minute 30 second time frame.  Teams will complete three rounds with their best score counting toward their final score.

The LEGO Challenge will also require the team to present a technical presentation to a panel of judges.  The teams will explain how their robot and attachment work and how they worked together to complete the challenge.

A third component of the LEGO Challenge is the community service project.  Each season the LEGO Challenge will have a theme.  The team will be asked to develop a service project that supports the theme.  The team will do a visual presentation for a panel of judges explaining their service project.

The final score for each team will be based on combination of the best robot round, technical presentation and service project

4-H Robotic Engineering Challenge

The Robotic Engineering Challenge will have members building larger robots up to 18”X18”X18” which will compete on a 12’ X 12’ playing field.  The robot can be constructed from a variety of robotic platforms including but not limited to VEX, Tetrix, or LEGOs.  The challenge will change every year.  The first 30 seconds of the challenge will be performed by the robots autonomously.  The final 2 minutes will be diver controlled through wireless controls.

Teams will also interview with a panel of judges answering questions about their robot construction, team work and community activities.  The winning Senior team will be eligible to represent Maryland at the National 4-H Engineering Challenge.

2017 Maryland 4-H LEGO CHALLEGE

Cows, Combines and Robots 

                                

As visitors to the Maryland State Fair strolled through the Cow Palace on Sunday, August 28th, they saw cattle shows, a large combine and a robotics competitions.  While the robotics competition may seem like an odd fit for the Cow Palace, the robotics competition fits the age old model of the 4-H members participating in fairs.  4-H members participating in the robotics competition start building robots to do the yearly challenge preparing for the competition at the state fair much the same as a 4-H member would raise a steer, hog or lamb for the shows.  

This year 97 4-H members participated in two divisions of the 4-H Robotics Challenge.  In the LEGO Robotics Challenge, members built and programed robots from LEGO Mindstorms to do a variety of tasks on a 4’ X 4’ playing field.  This year’s them was 4-H20 and was all about the use of water in our everyday lives.  In addition to building robots teams were to do a service project that revolved around the use of water.  At the state fair the teams compete on the playing field but also do a presentation on building their robot and one on their service project.  The scores in these three areas determine the winners in each of the age divisions.  

The second division, is the Robotics Engineering Challenge (REC).  This division has 4-H members building a larger robot that must fit inside an 18” cube that competes on a 12’ X 12’ playing field.  The game for the robots change every year.  This year’s game required the robotics to collect a variety of materials from marbles to 2X4 lumber and sort them into plastic bins.  The REC teams also do a presentation to a panel of judges on how they constructed their robot.  We would like to thank all the volunteer coaches, judges and extension staff that assisted with this year’s competition.  

The results from the 2016 LEGO Robotic division were:
Junior Division 
  • 1st Place – Fredrick County Robo Rangers
  • 2nd Place – Allegany County
  • 3rd Place – Fredrick County – A Team 
  • Other teams participating - Lego Makers from Cecil County

Intermediate Division                    
  •  1st Place – Fredrick County - Robo Rangers
  • 2nd Place – Baltimore County – H2O Bots
  • 3rd Place -  Allegany County - B Team
  • Other Teams Participating – 
    • Calvert County – Last Robot Rolling 
    • Allegany County – Smelvin Crew
    • Baltimore County – Life Hackers
    • Cecil County – Bites
    • Fredrick County – B Team
Senior Division           
  • 1st Place – Garrett County – Steel LEGOS
  • 2nd Place – Allegany County – A*Star
  • 3rd Place – Baltimore County – Hunt Valley Foxes
  • Other Team Participating – Carrol County
 Robotic Engineering Challenge Results
 Junior Division
  • 1st Place - Carroll County – A Team
  • 2nd Place - Carroll County – B Team

 Intermediate Division
  •  1st Place - Carroll County – B Team
  • 2nd Place - Carroll County – A Team
  • 3rd Place - Cecil County – B Team
  • Other Teams Participating – Cecil County – A Team

Senior Division

  • 1st Place - Allegany County – A Team
  • 2nd Place - Allegany County – B Team
  • 3rd Place - Fredrick County
  • Other Teams Participating – Carroll County – A Team & Carroll County – B Team
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