Arkansas State University
fax (870) 972-3069
Links to News Releases
Public activities at ASU
Faculty and Staff
Day set for Oct. 20
October 15, 2007 -- On
Saturday, Oct. 20, robots will invade the ASU National Guard Armory as
the annual six-week BEST Robotics Competition culminates in Game Day.
Setup for Game Day begins in the armory at 10 a.m., the opening ceremony
begins at 1 p.m., and Game Day ends at 6 p.m.
This year's BEST Robotics Game Day competition, "Mars 2021: A Robot
Odyssey," involves traveling across a 24-foot by 24-foot game arena from
a starting position, collecting one or more storage containers, and
moving them to the finish position, all within three minutes. The game
arena's 12-foot by 12-foot center is raised 12 inches above ground level
and is accessible only by ramp; consequently, a robot must move quickly
and effectively over the course in order to score. Each team must devise
its own strategy as to how many containers to carry at a time and how
many trips to make.
Described as a combination basketball game/chess match/obstacle
course/science fair, Game Day allows teams from eight participating
schools and their robots to compete in a series of three-minute matches,
with repairs and adjustments being made between the matches. Although
the performance of the robots themselves is the most significant
component of the judging, there are many other criteria that recognize
While the robots are competing, the teams will also be in competition
for the BEST Award. The BEST Award is judged on the basis of an
engineering notebook detailing teams' efforts in building the robots in
well-written narrative form and a 10-foot by 10-foot table display
promoting the marketing of the team's robot to consumers, using clever
presentations and promotional giveaways. Sportsmanship and school spirit
will also be observed and scored by the judges during the robot
competition. Teams assisting one another in various ways can score
highly in this category, as can teams demonstrating spirit by bringing
bands and cheerleaders.
Two days prior to Game Day, judges will have received and begun
evaluating each school's engineering notebook; this notebook details the
development of the team's robot with a well-written narrative. On Game
Day, each school will set up a 10' x 10' table display, marketing their
robot to the public; clever presentations and promotional giveaways are
staples of this effort.
BEST Robotics' emphasis on academics is reflected in the scoring for the
BEST Award: evaluation of the notebook amounts to 40%, the table display
is another 33%, spirit & sportsmanship is 20%, while the robot
performance is only 7%. It is entirely possible to compete very
effectively for the BEST Award with a robot that has broken down on Game
Day and cannot complete the competition.
In addition to trophies based on academics, awards will also be made in
a number of other categories as well: Founders' Award for Creative
Design, Most Robust Machine, Outstanding Team Web Page Design, Most
Elegant Machine, Most Photogenic Machine, Outstanding T-shirt Design,
and the Top Gun Award, for most points scored in a single round.
Three teams from Jonesboro will move on to the regional finals at the
University of Arkansas at Fort Smith on December 1: the first place
winner of the robot competition together with the first-place and
second-place recipients of the BEST Award. The regional finals in Fort
Smith are one of only three such regional competitions across the
Information about BEST nationwide is available at
www.bestinc.org; locally, the contest is detailed at
http://best.cs.astate.edu. ASU's BEST contest director, Dr. E. T.
Hammerand, can be reached at (870) 972-3978 or
# # #