WPI to Host 13th Annual BattleCry Competition

Autonomous and Remote-controlled Robots to Compete in Shooting Basketballs, Balancing on Teeter-Totter
May 16, 2012

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Forty-eight robotics teams from high schools throughout the Northeast will compete May 18-19 in the 13th annual BattleCry@WPI at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).

Spectators this year will watch autonomous and remote-controlled robots shoot basketballs into a series of hoops at either end of a 54-foot-long field. At the end of each 2-minute, 15-second match the robots will try to balance themselves (and, for more points, their partners) on one of three teeter-tottering bridges that traverse the center of the field.

BattleCry@WPI, cosponsored by WPI, SolidWorks and National Grid, offers FIRST robotics teams—fresh from the thrill of regular-season contests—the chance to put their seasoned robots and battle-hardened skills to use again in post-season competition. A high-energy showcase of innovation and creativity, the event provides young engineering and robotics enthusiasts with a venue to compete with their robots in exciting matches, obtain awards, and hone their technical skills. In all, 800 students and mentors from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont will take part. A full list of teams and their hometowns, and more information about BattleCry, can be found here.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational contest in which teams of professionals and young people 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.

WPI, the first university in the nation to offer bachelor's, master's, and PhD programs in robotics engineering, sponsors a host of robotics competitions geared toward young people ages 9-18. It also developed a robotics innovation competition for college students. Last year, WPI was one of 48 locations around the world to host a regional FIRST Robotics Competition. In June, WPI will be the first university ever selected by NASA to host and manage the space agency’s Sample Return Robot Challenge competition, in which eleven teams of engineers from across the country will compete for a purse of $1.5 million. Their challenge will be to design and develop the next generation of robots to explore the landscapes of other worlds.

Admission to BattleCry is free and open to the public. The event will be held 4:15 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 18, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, in Harrington Auditorium.