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July 17, 2013

ECU robotics team finishes third in international competition

Ada —

A team of East Central University computer science students and alumni placed third overall in the KIPR (KISS Institute for Practical Robotics) Autonomous Aerial Robotics Tournament held recently in Norman.

The international tournament was part of the 2013 Global Conference on Educational Robotics. The ECU team also received a judges’ choice award for their use of external indicators to aid in navigating the course in the game called Loop the Hoops.

“I am very proud of this accomplishment. This was the first time to compete and it was a great real-world experience requiring teamwork, quick-thinking, problem solving and programming under pressure,” said Mary Kay Tarver, assistant professor of computer science at ECU. “The guys handled all of that like pros and are already looking forward to next year.”

Competing for the ECU team were Stephen Calaway, Ada; Dustin Calaway, Ada; Heith Robson, Byng (attended Davis High School); and Colton Nohelty, Haileyville (attended McAlester High School).

Stephen Calaway and Nohelty are current ECU students, while Dustin Calaway and Robson, both 2011 ECU graduates, are currently employed by LegalShield. Nohelty is also employed by LegalShield, and Stephen Calaway is employed by People’s Electric Cooperative.

The challenge was to fly the drone through a course of five hoops (three fixed and two mobile) of various heights within a time limit of three minutes. Partial points were awarded for making contact with a hoop, while full points were awarded if the drone passed through the hoop. Each hoop was scored only once.

IBot, a team from Vienna, Austria, took first place, while Bot Mitzvah, a team from Palm Desert, Calif., placed second. Other teams participating included: School of Dreams Academy (Los Lunas, N.M.), Polaris (Fremont, Calif.); Team SNARC (Norman); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (Terre Haute, Ind.) and Waltrip High School (Houston, Texas).

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