MASLab IAP 2010

MASLab (Mobile Autonomous System Laboratory), also known as 6.186, is a robotics contest. The contest takes place during MIT’s Independent Activities Period, IAP, and participants earn 6 units of P/F credit and 6 Engineering Design Points. Teams of three to four students have less than a month to build and program sophisticated robots which must explore an unknown playing field and perform a series of tasks.

MASLab provides a significantly more difficult robotics problem than many other university-level robotics contests. Although students know the general size, shape, and color of the floors and walls, the students do not know the exact layout of the playing field. In addition, MASLab robots are completely autonomous, or in other words, the robots operate, calculate, and plan without human intervention. Finally, MASLab is one of the few robotics contests in the country to use a vision based robotics problem.

Though open to all MIT students, MASLab is heavily populated with EECS students and is the EECS Department is one of its main supporters. Much of the development of the robots takes place in EECS labs — at all hours in January. The final competition marks (in a way) the beginning of the Spring Term!

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