WORCESTER, Mass.– Feb. 11, 2009 – Registration is open to robotics students wishing to participate in the first annual Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Robotics Innovation Competition and Conference (RICC), a two-day event to be held Nov. 7 and 8, 2009 on campus. The RICC allows college and university students to move out of the research laboratory and into the world of practical applications and real markets, asking them to develop and prototype a robotic product that solves a real problem. This year, the theme is “Improving Quality of Life.”
As competitors, teams must not only complete an engineering design and prototyping process, but also assess the market value of their invention and produce a written report describing their analysis. Students will also benefit from several industry speakers, who will cover topics such as intellectual property law and product design and development. Cash prizes will be awarded to teams based on their report, presentation, demonstration, and poster session. There is no cost to register. The RICC is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation. For more information on registration and competition rules, please see http://ricc.wpi.edu.
An increasing demand for robots and robotics systems to meet national needs in areas such as defense and security, elder care, automation of household tasks, customized manufacturing, and interactive entertainment has also generated escalated interest in robots among young people. Since fall 2007, WPI offers the nation’s first bachelor’s degree program in robotics engineering. This major is designed to prepare a new breed of engineer with the skills and imagination to develop intelligent machines that go beyond today’s reality. Among other robotics competitions, WPI also hosts the annual Savage Soccer tournament and RoboNautica, the official state championship tournament of FIRST LEGO League, which showcases the talents of hundreds of children, ages 9-14 (tomorrow’s engineers and scientists) from across Massachusetts and the Northeast.