Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) has won the grand prize at the Second National Swarmathon Robotics Competition. Dr. Nader Vadiee, SIPI engineering faculty, helped guide a team of four students to victory at the NASA Swarmathon in Orlando, Florida.
The competition, held April 17-21, 2017, saw SIPI compete against 20 colleges from across the country. Each team developed new algorithms or computer programs used by small robotic vehicles to autonomously find and collect resources without human supervision or maps. The team whose robotic vehicles collected the most resources in the arena won. The algorithms used by the robot swarms have other applications such as cleaning up hazardous waste.
Dr. Vadiee, along with Dr. Jonathan West, served as the SIPI NASA Swarmathon team faculty advisors. The SIPI team returned home to Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the Gold Mars Trophy and a check for $5,000. SIPI is the only participating team winning the championship two years in a row. SIPI placed third in the First NASA Swarmathon Robotics Competition.