Rensselaer recently hosted its 14th annual wumpus competition (officially titled the “Lego Robot Roundup”). The competition is the final project for students enrolled in the freshman Minds & Machines class and is a good chance for them to display newly acquired skills in deductive reasoning. Students build and program a robot to grab a bag of gold from the cave of the wumpus who – for those of you who didn’t know – is an evil monster. The unique course is offered through the Rensselaer Cognitive Science Department.
By a cave, what I actually mean is a 4×4 grid painted on a piece of plywood. The robot travels from square to square using clues like a “stench” and a “breeze” (delivered to the robot “brain” as signals transferred via remote control) to deduce the presence of both the wumpus, and a couple of “bottomless holes” also scattered around the cave.
Well, all of this is far more clear in the video – check it out!