Department of Physics

UNI robotics camps teach driverless vehicle technologies


Dale Olson, professor, Department of Physics, 319-273-2744,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa will offer three robotic-themed camps for youth this summer: Introduction to Robotics, MiniSumo Robotics and Physics of Mario Kart.

Introduction to Robotics will offer youth ages 10 through 14 an opportunity to learn about the construction, design and programming of Lego Mindstorms® robots. Camp goers will learn through a series of hands-on training missions, solving increasingly complex problems. The camp is from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday, July 8, through Friday, July 12, at the Innovative Teaching and Technology Center on the UNI campus.

During camp MiniSumo Robotics, students in grades eight through 11 will complete construction of functioning mini-sumo robots. Camp goers will learn aspects of autonomous vehicle construction and programming, all culminating in a mini-sumo robot competition at the end of camp. The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday, June 24, through Friday, June 28, at Begeman Hall.

Physics of Mario Kart will give high school students the opportunity to work in groups to construct and drive life-size Mario Karts. The kart will be controlled using a wireless remote control, and students will be allowed to drive and race their creations. The camp is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday, July 22, through Friday, July 26, at Begeman Hall.

All camps will give camp goers experience in physical computing, programming, electronics and engineering.

The National Science Foundation (NSF), under an Iowa EPSCoR grant, supports all camps. For more information about the camps, scholarships and to register, visit