SIGCSE 2011 Robot Hoedown & Rodeo

The Hoedown Challenge


The Hoedown is a part of the SIGCSE 2011 Robot Hoedown and Rodeo event. For the Hoedown, any SIGCSE participant is invited to program one of the robots available at the Rodeo to dance along to a short country music clip. The Hoedown is meant as a short and gentle introduction to programming a robot - it can take as little as 15 minutes. The full SIGCSE event also includes a number of robot-specific Rodeo events, some of which become more involved.

Clip Location:

You can get the clip at
It is password protected - use sigcse for the userid, and robotgeek for the password.

Clip Information:

The provided clip is 43 seconds in length, including a 5 second fade in and 3 second fade out. The clip moves along at an average 152 beats per minute.

Robots and Software

You can program one of five robot platforms (breeds) in about ten different programming languages; we should have something for everyone. You can see a summary table of available robots as well as software and documentation here.

Programming Tips:

- Though dancing naturally brings to mind rhythmic movement, many of the robots also have other ways to express beat or emotionality - consider flickering or changing LED colors or having the robots "sing along" by beeping.

- You can also incorporate sensor data - for example, use a sensor to tell the robot to start or stop dancing.

- Most of the robots have sample code or tutorials to get you started (you can find all that information on the robot summary table). We've also got TAs in the robot corral to help you out when you get stuck.

Prizes and a Grand Finale

Imagine 70 robots dancing in time (sort of) to country music. That's our Grand Finale - and you can be a part of it. If you programmed a robot for the Hoedown, you can bring it to the Grand Finale. The Finale will be held right before the SIGCSE Saturday luncheon. We will attempt to start all the robots simultaneously and will marvel as a small robot army takes to the dance floor. Thanks to Rodeo sponsor iRobot, we are providing several prizes to participants who program a robot for the Hoedown event and participate in the finale.