17th Annual Savage Soccer Robotics Tournament Set to Kick Off

More than three dozen teams and clubs from the Northeast will participate in the contest, which is set for Nov. 23.

More than 40 high school teams and clubs from the Northeast to participate in tournament

Clockwise from right, Francis O'Rourke, Domenic Bozzuto and Brandon Bozeat gear up for Savage Soccer.

Hundreds of high school students from the Northeast are gearing up for the 17th Annual Savage Soccer robotics tournament at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Saturday, Nov. 23.

Student teams have had one month to design and build robots that, controlled by radio signals and at times operating autonomously, compete against other robots on two 8 x 12-foot playing fields to win a game. The all-day event is free for participants and spectators, and is open to the public.

Francis O'Rourke, one of two game design leads, said the robots measure 15 inches by 15 inches by 18 inches. The robots compete in a number of tasks, such as placing 5-inch long PVC tubes onto colored scoring shelves, and – in a new wrinkle this year – reaching 30 inches into the air to move a cylinder along a 12-foot steel tube.

Joining O'Rourke this year on the event are two WPI freshmen, co-game design lead Brandon Bozeat and event manager Domenic Bozzuto.

Established in 1995 as an outreach program, Savage Soccer helps middle- and high school students learn about basic robotics principles and teamwork. The WPI student-managed tournament is hosted by FIRST Team 190 (WPI and Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science at WPI).

In addition to finalist and champion awards, eight others will be presented: Amazing Autonomous Award, Awesome Offense Award, Judge’s Award, Play of the Day Award, Savage Spirit Award, SolidWorks Design Award, Terrific Teamwork Award, and WOW Award.

The event is sponsored by WPI. For more information, visit the Savage Soccer website.

What: 17th Annual Savage Soccer robotics competition

Why: An increasing demand for robots and robotics systems has also generated escalated interest in robots among young people. In 2007, WPI offered the nation's first bachelor's degree program in robotics engineering. WPI also offers master's and doctoral programs in the field.

Who: More than 40 middle- and high school teams from the Northeast will compete in Savage Soccer.

When: Saturday, Nov. 23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Campus Center Odeum, Worcester, Mass.

November 22, 2013