Since 2001, I have been organizing an introductory project for first year engineering students, the Robot Competition. Since the aim is junior students, the emphasis is on learning by doing. We supply materials, tools and about 15 houts of training in the form of classroom lectures and lab mess time. There is one or more undergraduate assistant student each year (who generally has taken the course previously).
Robot competition is one of the many projects in the scope of the project course PROJ102. The aim is to give the students insight into what is means to do a project, work in a team, divide the work into manageable parts and make a schedule. We take it one step further in that the students also must learn a little bit of programming, electrical and mechanical design, sensor interfacing and control. It is very tough on them!
The course ends with a different robot competition each year, giving the students a chance to demonstrate their work at the university cafeteria. The rules of past year's competitions are here:
Please see the presentation I prepared for the class of 2007 as an introduction, also including many photographs.
The control computer is also of our own design. We are using an USB enabled computer as of 2007, SUBOARDII.
If you are interested in becoming an assistant, please e-mail me with a summary of your experience and get an appointment.