STORMING ROBOTS TO COMPETE IN 2009 ROBOCUPJUNIOR
New Jersey Students Will Represent U.S. in International Competition
Branchburg, NJ (WiredPRNews.com) —Storming Robots Technology Learning Center is proud to announce that six members of its RoboClub have been invited to represent the United States at the 2009 RoboCupJunior, http://www.robocup2009.org, to be held July 1–5 in Graz, Austria. This team of dedicated students, ranging in age from 10 to 12, was selected to participate in the international competition after scoring highest in the nation to win first place in their division at the New York-New Jersey Regional event.
RoboCupJunior is an education-focused robotics competition for primary and secondary school students. Teams design, construct, and program autonomous robots to complete a variety of challenges; including soccer, rescue, and dance.
The Storming Robots team will be competing in the Rescue challenge, in which each robot must navigate through a recreated disaster scenario to identify victims quickly and accurately. The robots are equipped with a number of sensors to allow them to interact with their environment, include ultra-sonic sensors to identify obstacles and walls and multiple light sensors for identifying paths or victims. For the international event, the students will be adding an accelerometer to determine incline and an on-board vision subsystem.
In addition to the engineering challenge of constructing the robot, the students face the complex task of programming their robot to interact autonomously with the disaster environment, requiring an understanding of the fundamentals of computer science. This includes complex multitasking and sensor feedback controls.
The team has spent close to fifty hours preparing for this event. Storming Robots founder and RoboClub advisor Elizabeth Mabrey explained, “the Rescue challenge truly requires students to delve deeply into robotics programming and explore the future of artificial intelligence. The RoboClub members have shown impressive dedication and resourcefulness as they systematically planned, analyzed, and troubleshot their robot’s programming to ensure consistency. Preparing for this competition has been an incredible learning opportunity.”
Technology education is more important than ever, as United States students continue to fall behind their international peers in science and math. In fact, according to U.S. Department of Education data (http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2008/2008016.pdf), the comparative performance of U.S. students in science and mathematics literacy is at an all time low. However, robotics competitions are a valuable tool for getting students excited about learning. Rachel Goldman, a sixth grade student at Far Hills Country Day School, expressed her enthusiasm to compete in the 2009 RoboCupJunior: “I have been doing robotics for nearly four years, and there is always something more to learn. It is a complex science that has taught me about physics, math, and engineering. I am proud to be representing the U.S. in the international competition!”
In order to offset the substantial cost of international travel, the RoboClub students are currently pursuing corporate sponsorship as well as individual donations. Interested parties should contact RoboClub advisor and Storming Robots Director Elizabeth Mabrey at 908-595-1010 or [email protected] More information is available on the Storming Robots website, www.storming-robots.com.
Photos available upon request.
Storming Robots is a technology enrichment learning center dedicated to using robotics education to build students’ abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math. Through hands-on technology exploration, students strengthen analytical and strategic thinking skills and gain a lifelong appreciation for learning. Located in Branchburg, NJ, Storming Robots Technology Learning Center currently offers workshops throughout the school year, summer RoboCamps, and more. Visit Storming Robots online at www.storming-robots.com.