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News & Events

04-03-2001

Clarkson Robotics Team Competing In Nationals

The Clarkson University FIRST Robotics team will take part in the national competition April 6 and 7 at the Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. The competition will be webcast live at http://robotics.nasa.gov/first2001.html. Scores will also be posted on the US FIRST Web site at http://www.usfirst.org.

FIRST Robotics was established ten years ago by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to create as much excitement among high school students about mathematics, science and technology as there is around professional sports. Dean Kamen is receiving an honorary degree from Clarkson University on May 13 and will meet with the Clarkson robotics team that weekend.

Each year, teams of high school students and engineers from industry and universities work together to design and build a robot to a particular set of specifications. Each team has only six weeks to complete the robot. Regional competitions are held around the U.S., followed by a national competition at Epcot.

Kamen’s vision has been realized in these competitions filled with hundreds of energized students cheering on their robots, swapping techniques for building drive trains and control systems, and dancing to the pounding music that fills the arena.

The Clarkson robotics team includes more than 50 Clarkson undergraduates and high school students from Salmon River Central School, Potsdam High School, and Massena High School. Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering James Carroll is the Clarkson faculty adviser to the team. Teachers and parent advisers also work with the team.

More than 300 teams are competing at Epcot in the nationals. On Thursday, April 5, teams will get acquainted during practice rounds. Qualifying rounds are held on April 6 and 7, with the final rounds occurring on the afternoon of Saturday, April 7.

The Clarkson robotics team Web site is http://www.clarkson.edu/~usfirst.

The FIRST Robotics team is one of fourteen projects supported by Clarkson’s SPEED (Students Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. SPEED promotes multidisciplinary project based learning opportunities for more than 200 undergraduates annually. SPEED projects involve engineering design and analysis, project fabrication, and the enhancement of professional competencies such as budget management, effective teamwork and communication skills.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or aharrison@clarkson.edu.]

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