Purdue News

March 8, 2006

Robot teams face off at Purdue 'sporting' competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University announces the FIRST Boilermaker Regional Competition where 29 teams, consisting of high school and college students, mentors and their robot inventions, compete against each other in a basketball-style game March 16-18 in the Purdue Armory.

2005 competition
Download photo
caption below

FIRST, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, combines sports with science and technology to create a unique event. Qualifying matches take place March 17-18, and top-ranked teams will compete in final rounds on Saturday afternoon. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and is free and open to the public. The final elimination rounds begin at 1 p.m. March 18, after which awards and trophies will be presented in the Elliott Hall of Music.

"Nearly 1,000 teens and adults will come from near and far to fill the stands to cheer on their favorite robot as they vie for the top spots," said Amy Przybylinski, co-chairperson of the event and a Purdue mechanical engineering graduate. "This is the second year for our event at Purdue, and we have a great mix of new and returning teams."

High school students work with professional engineers and high school and college teachers to design, build and test a robot in just six weeks to compete in regional competitions across the nation. The winners of the regional events join more than 300 teams to compete in the international championship event to be held April 26-29 in Atlanta.

"The program helps high school students to become involved with something that can be useful in their future," Przybylinski said. "They learn about science, engineering and technology — and they get to have fun in the process."

The 2006 game, called "AIM HIGH," features intense, fast-paced matches that measure the dexterity and skill of robots and human players. Robots must rapidly pick up balls and shoot them into corner or center goals, while human players enter balls into play and score points by throwing them into corner goals. Robots can gain extra points by racing back to their end zones and climbing the ramp to the platform before the end of the 2 minute and 10 second match. New challenges in this year's game include 3 versus 2 offense/defense periods and a lighted target that can be tracked by a robot's vision camera to help improve shooting accuracy.

Teams will come from Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Sponsors for the regional competition include NASA, Purdue University, Schlumberger Co., Delphi, Indiana Space Grant Consortium, Rolls-Royce Corp., General Motors Corp., Kimberly-Clark Corp., Toyota Motor North America Inc., Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., One Source Equipment Rentals, Purdue Alumni Association, Snowbear Frozen Custard, Einstein Bros. and The Solae Co.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway human transporter. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs innovative programs to motivate students to pursue studies in science, technology and engineering. Since its inception, FIRST has expanded internationally to Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Israel, Ecuador, Mexico and Brazil.

Indiana teams participating in the FIRST competition include:

• Delphi Corp., Ivy Tech Community College and Kokomo-Center School System, Kokomo.

• Power Lift/Patrick Metals, General Motors Corp., BOSCH, AM General, PHM Community and Penn High School, Mishawaka.

• DaimlerChrysler Kokomo Transmission Plant and Western High School, Russiaville

• Rolls-Royce Corp., BAX Global, K-T Corp., Morristown High School and Greenfield-Central High School teams, Morristown.

• Remy International, Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems, DRN Machine, Vectren Foundation, Ivy Tech Community College, Ebbertt Education Center and Anderson Community School Corp., Anderson.

• Purdue University FIRST programs and West Lafayette junior and senior high school teams from West Lafayette.

• Rolls-Royce Corp., ProportionAir Corp. and Walker Career Center, Indianapolis.

• ITT Technical Institute, Rolls Royce and Delphi and Carmel High School, Carmel.

• Rolls-Royce Corp., ITT Technical Institute and Pike Academy of Science and Engineering, Indianapolis.

• Aircom Manufacturing, Beckman Coulter, Rolls-Royce Corp. and the Bernard K. McKenzie Career Center, Indianapolis.

• Sabin Corp. and Hoosier Hills Career Center, Bloomington.

• UTEC, Wabash Technologies, NASA, 4-H Robotics and Huntington North High School, Huntington.

• NASA, Rolls-Royce Corp., Fab2Order and Southport High School, Indianapolis.

• Leis Machine Shop, NASA, White County Community Foundation and North White High School, Monon.

• Purdue FIRST Programs, NASA and Jefferson High School, Lafayette.

• Purdue FIRST Programs, NASA and the William Henry Harrison High School, West Lafayette.

• The NASA and Delphi and Taylor Community Schools teams, Kokomo.

• Columbus Area Career Connection and NASA, Columbus.

• Rolls-Royce Corp., NASA and Center Grove School Corp., Greenwood.

• Columbus State Community College, American Electric Power, Batelle and Eastmoor Academy High School, Columbus.

• Ball State University, NASA and Muncie-Delaware County Schools, Muncie.

Other teams participating in the FIRST competition include:

• Trans-matic, Town & Country Group, ITW, Deawform, Herman Miller Foundation, Gentex, Midway Machine Technologies, Plascore, TNT, Holland Motor Freight, Mead, Johnson Nutritionals and Zeeland West High School and Zeeland East High School, Zeeland, Mich.

• Quest Technologies, GE Healthcare and Oconomowoc High School, Oconomowoc, Wis.

• Proctor and Gamble Inc., and Highlands High School, Thomas, Ky.

• SHAN Precision, Butler Technology and Career Development Schools, Lakota East, Ohio.

• The Ohio State University and Educational Robotics of Central Ohio, Bexley, Ohio and Columbus, Ohio.

• Laughlin Racing Products and Greenville County School, Mauldin, S.C.

• Chrysler Proving Grounds, NASA and Chelsea High School, Chelsea, Mich.

• Aalderink Electric Co., NASA and Phoenix High School, Holland, Mich.

• Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Excelsior Spring School District, Excelsior Springs, Mo.


Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Source: Amy E. Przybylinski, (765) 451-9822, Amy.E.Przybylinski@delphi.com

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Media packets with information on each team and background information on FIRST will be available at the media check-in station at the Purdue Amory. Photographs can be taken at the event. However, there are restrictions on where photographers and videographers may stand during the actual competition. Areas near the arena will be made available for photographers and videographers. A satellite uplink and B-roll are available for broadcast media. To reserve your media packet or arrange an advance interview with team members or a representative of FIRST, contact Cynthia Sequin at (765) 494-4192, (317) 938-5209 (cell), csequin@purdue.edu.


The Beatty International team from Hammond, Ind., drove its robot to a first-place finish at the 2005 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Boilermaker Regional Robotics Competition at Purdue University. The 2006 competition takes place March 16-18 at Purdue. More than 30 teams of high school students from throughout the United States will participate in the tournament, in which the robots play a basketball-style game in a 54-by-26-foot arena. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger.)

A publication-quality photograph of the 2005 competition is available at https://news.uns.purdue.edu/uns/images/+2006/robotics-06adv.jpg.


To the News Service home page

Newsroom Search Newsroom home Newsroom Archive