Latest headlines

symposium teaching assessment

How a symposium can be used to assess students’ work

Judith Hillmore heard Dr Suzanne Ruddy, UCL Molecular Biosciences, tell attendees at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 how her students take part in a realistic symposium as part of their assessed work. More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 2:34:19 PM

Tutorial teaching

Students prefer tutorial-based teaching, a new study shows

Clare Goudy reports on a study into student attitudes to small-group teaching, presented at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 1:58:19 PM

Beatrice Lok personal tutor study

What do students want from their personal tutors?

Abbie Willett, Beatrice Lok and Dr Paul Walker, CALT, revealed the top five most valued aspects of personal tutoring to attendees at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014  More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 1:33:39 PM

off-campus project work teaching learning conference

Going off-campus: help create a new framework for student project work

Dr Jamie Harle, Medical Physics and Bioengineering, told the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference 2014 about a new framework for student and external supervisor engagement in off-campus work. Mark Copestake reports More...

Published: Apr 11, 2014 10:20:35 AM

Providing graphics skills through distance learning

Open-source GIS

The Bartlett is providing postgrads with vital graphics skills before they arrive at UCL via the Urban Skills Portal.

Read more »

Effective teaching videos

'Frame yourself': an illustration by Mike Howarth

A selection of tips to help create professional-looking, powerful videos that complement face-to-face teaching.

Read more »

Gain teaching qualification

UCL Arena logo teaching learning


Formal recognition for HE teaching is available through the UCL Arena scheme. 

Read more »


Robot Grand Prix 2012 is a resounding success

8 June 2012

Friday June 1st 2012 saw the inaugural Robot Grand Prix, an event just as zany as it sounds, held by UCL’s Department of Computer Science and sponsored by Morgan Stanley.

The UCL Department of Computer Science's inaugural Robot Grand Prix

The race was the culmination of a ten-week module in which first-year undergraduates learn to program a robot and move it successfully around a course.

The students had not seen the track layout until the morning of the race, at which point they had to battle the clocks to program their robots to understand the twists and turns of the course. With 24 teams of two or three students, this was a buzzing event in which the tension was palpable and the competition intense.

Professor Mark Handley, who conceptualised the Program a Robot module with help from Dr Dean Mohamedally and some of his PhD students, designed the robots and had them manufactured in-house with help from the department’s technicians. Given the somewhat violent bumps the robots were subjected to while the students got to grips with programming, it is fortunate that they were built with robustness in mind.

But while the robots themselves were relatively basic in structure, the task was not. Dr Graham Roberts, who also worked on the project, said: “This wasn’t simply a case of us telling the students to make the robot move forward. Using a low-level interface, the students had to specify how much power the robots would use in wheel rotation, using C programming language to generate a set of instructions that were transmitted wirelessly from a laptop or netbook to the android phones on top of each robot. It was quite a challenge because we simply pointed them towards the guidance material and let them work the rest out for themselves.”

[external source element is broken]
error message: int() argument must be a string or a number

At around 4pm, after hours of meticulously timed laps and many cries of "penalty!", the winning duo was announced: it was Michael Boon and Richard Davis. Michael said: “I’ve really enjoyed this module; it’s been good fun and we’ve learned a lot. Working with a partner has been a useful experience because we’ll all be working in teams when we get jobs.”

Richard added, “It feels great to win but I think it was mainly down to luck: everyone did really well and there was a lot of tough competition. Our plans now are to go and celebrate our win by chilling out in the park and then enjoy our summer!”

Images: Harriet Gaunt
Video: Graham Roberts

Page last modified on 07 jun 12 16:38


Tell us about the inspiring teaching and learning taking place in your department: email teaching.learning@ucl.ac.uk

UCL

None