Robot Unveiled at WPI's Mass Academy Friday, Feb. 16

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. - Each year the Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science teams up with Worcester Polytechnic Institute to create a robot they call "Gompei." The unveiling of Gompei 2001 will take place Friday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. at the Mass Academy, located in the lower level of WPI's Gordon Library. The public is invited to join in the fun and see Gompei 2001, created by more than 100 students volunteering on this year's team.

Gompei will be part of FIRST, or "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology," Robotics, a national engineering contest that immerses high-school students in the world of engineering. Teaming up with engineers from businesses and universities, students get a hands-on, inside look at the engineering profession through robotics.

Over six intense weeks, students and engineers work together to brainstorm, design, construct and test their robot. The teams then compete in a spirited, no-holds-barred tournament complete with referees, cheerleaders and time clocks. FIRST has a place for every student interest, whether in the lab, on the support team or just helping to cheer on the robot to victory.

Team 190, the WPI/Mass Academy team, has been involved in FIRST since the competition started in 1992, one of six teams in the nation to have participated that long. Today, more than 500 hundred teams are involved in the FIRST competition, including teams from Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Team 190 will compete in the New England Regional March 2-3, the Long Island Regional March 9-10 and the Nationals April 6-7 at Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla. Last year, Team 190 and its robot, Gompei 2000, presented more than 40 demonstrations and displays seen by more than 35,000 people.

For more information, contact team advisor Ken Stafford at 508-831-6122 or e-mail him at stafford@wpi.edu.