March 07, 2012

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Thirty-five robotics teams from around the Northeast and the United Kingdom will descend on Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) as the university hosts the third annual WPI FIRST Regional robotics competition. More than 1,000 spectators are expected to attend, in particular, during the intense elimination rounds after lunch on Saturday. New matches start every six minutes. Among the 35 competing teams will be the two WPI-sponsored teams: from Worcester’s Mass Academy of Math and Science and Burncoat High School.


Students will compete with the 145-pound robots they created for this two-day competition, whose theme this year is basketball.

Working with mentors, students had six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. To build their robots, student teams received a kit of parts, which includes motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components, but no instructions. This weekend’s FIRST regional will send three winning teams to the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis in April.

The event is co-sponsored by WPI and MathWorks. The event is free and open to the public of all ages.


March 9 and 10. The schedule and more information can be found here.


Harrington Auditorium, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.

More Information

Recognizing that robotics engineering is one of the fastest-growing industries in today’s economy, WPI launched in 2007 the nation’s first bachelor’s degree program in robotics engineering, and is the only university in the United States to offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in robotics engineering. Through academic offerings, K-12 outreach programs, and the WPI FIRST Robotics Resource Center, and by hosting many other annual robotics-related events, WPI has become the proving ground for hundreds of would-be robotics champions in New England.


Sponsored by FIRST (for Inspiration of Science and Technology) and founded by inventor and WPI alumnus Dean Kamen '73, the FIRST Robotics Competition helps high school students discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and the rewards that a STEM-focused career can bring.