WPI To Host 15th Annual BattleCry Competition

1,000 students and mentors from the Northeast expected at robotics event; Autonomous and remote-controlled robots to compete
May 23, 2014

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15th Annual BattleCry Competition


Fifty-seven high school robotics teams from high schools throughout the Northeast


May 24 and 25, 2014; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Harrington Auditorium and Sports and Recreation Center, Worcester, Mass.


Spectators this year will watch autonomous and remote-controlled robots participate in a game based on the First Robotics Competition game called "Aerial Assist." The challenge calls for teams to be able to score large 24-inch balls into high and low goals. Teams can earn extra points by shooting the ball over the 6-foot-high mid-field truss and by having a partner robot catch the ball.

"The game encourages the three-team alliances to pass the ball between each other en route to the goal," said Ken Stafford, director of the Robotics Resource Center. Added Colleen Shaver, the event director, "Each successful pass increases the value of the goal."

Aerial Assist was held in March during the WPI FIRST District Robotics event, but this version promises a unique twist.

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"The difference between that official tournament and this off-season event is that we add a little bit of intrigue at the end of the game," explained Stafford. "When the time runs out, if a robot still holding a ball is over one of two designated 12-inch circles that we’ll put on the field, they'll get additional points. It should be interesting to see teams forced to decide whether it’s better to go for the last goal or to occupy one of those spots."

BattleCry@WPI, co-sponsored by WPI 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 postseason 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, about 1,000 students and mentors from New England and New York 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. In June, WPI will once again host the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge competition, in which up to 20 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.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Parking: Teams and spectators may park on streets surrounding WPI and in approved WPI parking lots (including the new Park Avenue garage) on Saturday and Sunday. Primary access into the garage will be from Salisbury Street.