SOUTHFIELD – Students from elementary through high school will demonstrate their ability to design, program and build autonomous (self-driving) robots at Lawrence Technological University’s RoboParade on Oct. 24 in the Expo Center on the South Campus of Macomb Community College in Warren. The event is free and open to the public.
This year’s parade theme is Halloween. Many of the robots will be dressed in Halloween costumes, and spectators are invited to do the same. Spectators can vote for their favorite robotic float and enter raffle prize drawings. Other RoboParades are held in Sugarland, Texas, St. Pete Beach, Florida, and Roanoke, Virginia.
This year’s RoboParade teams are from Birmingham, Westland, Detroit, Canton, Novi, St. Clair Shores, Troy, and Northville. Oakland County 4-H groups and Detroit Public Schools’ Junior ROTC teams are joining the parade of self-driving robots this year.
There will be official parades at 1:10 and 2:30 p.m.
The robot floats must be programmed to detect other robots in front of them, to follow the parade line, to display the current speed in centimeters per second, and to start and stop without human intervention. Each team’s creativity will be on display as its decorated float proceeds around the parade route.
This is the 10th annual RoboParade organized by the Robofest office in LTU’s College of Arts and Sciences. Founded by Computer Science Professor CJ Chung in 2000, Robofest programs promote science, technology, engineering, and math – the STEM subjects – as well as the arts in fun and dynamic ways.
“Technology is advancing dramatically. Students will learn key concepts about self-driving cars and V2I (Vehicle to Infrastructure) technologies,” Chung said. “RoboParade also gives students the opportunity to develop their creativity.”
Teams from Sterling Heights and Lake Orion will participate in the second Global Robotics Art Festival (GRAF). Some robots will play the piano, and FANUC America Corp. will bring a robot painter.
For more information about LTU’s Halloween RoboParade, visit www.robofest.net.