Sumo ’Bots Rule! That Is, In The SIUE Engineering Building Lobby

eams of SIU Edwardsville engineering students and high school students from East St. Louis, Edwardsville, and Highland high schools put their programming skills on the line recently in the third annual Robotic Sumo Wrestling Competition.

The teams built robots using Lego MindStorms kits, complete with a program that instructs the robot on how to react when it comes in contact with its opponent. The goal was to force the opponent outside a four-foot circular ring within the allotted time. In the photo, Truman Hughes (at left), an SIUE student from New Baden, prepares his robot against Sean Seckler of Edwardsville High School.

The SIUE students are freshman Engineering majors completing their class requirements by participating in the competition. With three high schools—Edwardsville, East St. Louis, and Highland—participating this year, the annual event continues to grow; further expansion is planned for next year. “This is not only educational, it’s fun,” said Ron Banks, assistant to the dean of the SIUE School of Engineering. “Everyone gets excited and energized by the competition. It really is a hands-on learning experience that we hope will grow every year.”

The opening of the new Engineering Building and outreach events like the robotic wrestling competition have fueled a surge in enrollment at the School of Engineering. The school has seen a 41- percent increase in enrollment since the building opened two years ago; enrollment now stands at approximately 1,200 students.


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Published by: Office of Public Affairs
Last update: December 6, 2002 by
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