WPI/Mass. Academy Team Launches Its Robot for 2005 FIRST Robotics Competition

Team Will Travel to Competitions in Georgia, New Hampshire and New York

Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706


The 2005 season of the FIRST Robotics Competition is here, and thousands of students around the world are designing and assembling their robots for this yearís challenge, Triple Play. Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science (Team 190) will be unveiling its robot, named "Gompei, the Burninator," this Monday, before it gets packed up for the opening weekend FIRST competition in New Hampshire.

The object of this yearís FIRST Competition is to attain a higher score for the three-team alliance than the opposing alliance during the two-minute-15-second matches. Points are scored by placing tetras (28-inch tall, three-dimensional tetrahedral space frames made of PVC piping) on or into goals, getting three goals in a row capped with tetras, and/or having all three robots on an alliance in their end zone at the end of the match.

The WPI/Mass. Academy team and its robot Gompei will be competing this season in

  • Granite State Regional, Manchester, N.H. - March 4-5
  • Long Island Regional, Hempstead, N.Y. - March 18-19
  • Championship, Atlanta, Ga. - April 22-23


Monday, February 21, 2005
2:30 p.m.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Higgins Laboratories, Room 005
100 Institute Road
Worcester, Mass.


The WPI/Mass. Academyís FIRST Team 190 is made up of more than 150 students - 120 from WPI, and 30 from Mass. Academy and other area high schools. For more information about Team 190, visit its Web site at http://users.wpi.edu/~first/.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational contest that tasks teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. It challenges teams to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe. Teams build robots using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules, and enter them in a series of competitions designed by Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers.

The Specs: Weighing in at approximately 135 pounds, Gompei the robot has a 4-motor, 4-wheel holonomic drive system built on a chassis that measures 27 inches wide by 37 inches long by 59 inches tall. Using yaw sensors, a built-in navigation system, wheel encoders, and a vision camera, the robot is capable of locating randomly placed scoring tetras, picking them up, and placing them on seven-foot-high scoring pyramids - all autonomously.

During the remote-control portion of the matches, Gompei has a "tetra flipper" to let the operators quickly load two scoring tetras from the auto loading stations and reliably place them into scoring positions. In addition, Gompeiís ability to go in any direction independent of its heading will enable it to have unparalleled mobility for both offensive and defensive operations on the 54-foot by 27-foot playing field.