“Smart Mobile & Autonomous Robot Tournament” (commonly known as SMART) is a competition with autonomous mobile robots freely created using LEGO Mindstorms.
In many cases, a “contest” is held as part of the report on the results of creativity education, and SMART is one of them. The appeal of the contest is that it is easy to encourage the participating students and that it is a good opportunity for people other than the participating students to see it widely.
“I’m interested in robot contests, but it’s difficult to prepare materials for making robots, and there is no environment for processing materials”. In this way, many students have abandoned participation for various reasons. LEGO Mindstorms is used as a robot kit to make it easier to work on even in such cases.
LEGO Mindstorms is a highly versatile teaching material that not only allows you to freely express your ideas, but also allows you to experience making robots by repeating trial and error. It has the appeal of being able to explore the cause of repeated failures and experience the process leading up to the solution.
In SMART, participating teams will manufacture robots using the same competition rules and the same robot kit. Therefore, winning or losing a competition depends greatly on the idea. Competition rules and robot kits are also major constraints on ideas in robot production, and robots that can achieve their goals must be produced under those constraints. Creative problem-solving skills are required. Also, once the robot starts to move, the robot must accomplish the task by its own recognition, judgment, and control without human intervention. In other words, robots are required to have high autonomy full of ideas. This is the feature of SMART.
The main purpose of SMART’s activities are as follows:
- Promotion of technical education
- Educational support
- Exchange promotion
- Improvement of robot contest management know-how
Students who participated in SMART can expect the following recharges.
- Creative problem-solving ability including artistic perspective
- Logical thinking ability
- Expressiveness through creative activities
- Leadership and collaboration
In addition, SMART prevents “impersonation” by changing the competition rules every year, and makes it possible to demonstrate creativity (it has to be demonstrated, it is easy to demonstrate). By doing so, you can further enjoy the “fun of independent learning,” “fulfillment,” and “achievement,” and you can expect to receive a lot of excitement and stimulation in the process of competition.
SMART was organized in 2000 by volunteer faculty members from Shikoku, centered on Tokushima University, and started the first competition (LeGoCoN2000) in November 2000 at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tokushima University. It is said to be the oldest competition (from our own research) among the robot competitions using LEGO Mindstorms held in Japan. From the 2nd tournament, the tournament name has been changed to SMART and it is held almost every year. From the 9th tournament (SMART2009), we introduced a duty school system and it has been held outside Tokushima City. From the 17th tournament (SMART2017), there are two divisions, a general division and a U18 division, making it easier for students in the lower grades of colleges of technology, general high schools and technical high schools to participate. From the 18th tournament (SMART2018), the U15 division has been newly established, and junior high school students can also participate.
Throughout SMART’s long history, the students who participated have received a lot of inspiration, broadened their horizons and interests, increased their motivation to study, and set new goals. In addition, the various robots produced by the students and students’ voluntary and enthusiastic approach to manufacturing and the accumulation of ingenuity have impressed many people.
SMART will continue to support students who are motivated and persistently do their best.