Missouri 2021 High School Competition: Future

Spot the robot.The Future is Autonomous 

The Mizzou Engineering Information Technology Program challenges high school students to tell us how autonomous systems will impact your community’s future.

For this competition, describe how an autonomous system can be used to solve a problem or fulfill a need. You are to submit a document that presents a use case description for an autonomous system that may include text, images, diagrams, and web links. The use case description is to minimally provide the following.  

  1. The problem that is being solved or the need that is being fulfilled. 
  2. How the autonomous system solves the problem or meets the need. 
  3. A description of the tasks and activities that the autonomous system performs. 

The document that is submitted may be an RTF file, Word document, PDF, or html document. 

Provide the details needed for the reader to be able to see the problem or need and how the autonomous system functions to solve the problem or meet the need. 

Winning projects will be exhibited online as well as at a public event at a statewide Missouri Bicentennial celebration on MU’s campus in August 2021. 1st place winner will receive $100. 

Competition time: From February 2021 to May 2021 

Submission deadline: May 31, 2021 

Student eligibility: Any 9th -12th grade student who lives in Missouri 

How to submit:  

  1. Make your submission into a RTF file, Word document, PDF, or html document.  
  2. Send an email with the subject line Submission to mo2021@missouri.edu. Attached your submission to the email. Please include the following in the email body: 
  • Full name of student or students. Teams are awesome!: 
  • Age of student(s): 
  • School that the student(s) attends: 
  • Grade of student(s): 
  • Contact email of student’s parent or guardian: 
  • Contact phone number of student’s parent or guardian: 

If you have questions, contact Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science/Information Technology Program Dale Musser at musserda@missouri.edu. 

What is an autonomous system? 

“Autonomous systems are defined as systems that are able to accomplish a task, achieve a goal, or interact with its surroundings with minimal to no human involvement. It is also essential that these systems be able to predict, plan, and be aware of the world around them. This is applied both to physical hardware autonomous systems as well as software autonomous systems (software “bots”).” – The Autonomous Systems Pattern Of AI, Forbes, May 30, 2020 

The following are a set of web links to information on autonomous systems and how they are being used. 

The following are autonomous platforms that being used to create solutions. 

The following video shows a Skydio 2 following a person on a bicycle while avoiding obstacles. 

Skydio 2 – Using Beacon – Hide and Seek on a Bicycle

The following video provides an overview of the Boston Dynamics Spot. 

Dope Tech: Boston Dynamics Robot Dog!

The following video shows a Boston Dynamics Spot moving through an uncertain and dynamic environment. 

Spot Launch 

Self-driving cars are another example of an autonomous system. 

Not all autonomous systems are based on robots and vehicles. A process that can be carried out without human intervention is an autonomous system. Customer service provided by a computer to a human without the involvement of a human in providing the service is an autonomous system. For this competition all types of autonomous systems may be used. 

At the University of Missouri in the Information Technology Program, we are using the Boston Dynamics Spot to create autonomous solutions for use cases for business and industry in Missouri. Read more.

This competition is part of the Missouri 2021 High School Competition. You may also participate in the Past and Present categories.

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