This article discusses five years of experience using three international mobile robot competitions as the foundation for educational projects in under- graduate and graduate computer science courses. The three competitions—(1) AAAI Mobile Robot, (2) AUVS Unmanned Ground Robotics, and (3) IJCAI RoboCup—were used in different years for an introductory undergraduate robotics course, an advanced graduate robotics course, and an under- graduate practicum course. Based on these experi- ences, a strategy is presented for incorporating competitions into courses in such a way as to fos- ter intellectual maturation as well as learn lessons in organizing courses and fielding teams. The arti- cle also provides a classification of the major robot competitions and discusses the relative merits of each for educational projects, including the expected course level of computer science stu- dents, equipment needed, and costs.
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