RIT Prepares for Robot Invasion This Weekend

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One of the largest robotics competitions in North America coming to RIT, May 3-4

For the second consecutive year, hundreds of robots from across the nation, accompanied by their human creators, will converge at Rochester Institute of Technology for the national Robotic Technology and Engineering Challenge, May 3 and 4.

One of the largest robotics competitions in North America, the 17th annual event will feature 14 automation, manufacturing and robotics contests for middle school, high school and college students. Challenges include a journey robot contest, lunar-object search challenge, robot construction and robot maze contests, sumo and mini-sumo robot battles, up-and-down-the-staircase challenge, and product design and manufacturing demonstrations.

Contests aim to enhance students’ understanding of the manufacturing process and highlight knowledge and problem-solving skills. Judging is on the application of manufacturing principles and students’ ability to solve manufacturing-related problems through team approaches.

Competition, free and open to spectators, is from 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 4, in RIT’s Frank Ritter Ice Arena. A carnival and awards ceremony follows from 4 to 6 p.m. on May 4 in the Student Alumni Union cafeteria.

Last year, 600 students and teachers comprising 250 teams from 10 states attended the competition, which RIT hosted for the first time.

The event is sponsored by Robotics International of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and RIT’s manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology/packaging science department in the College of Applied Science and Technology. A welcome reception on May 3 is supported by Bausch & Lomb Inc. and Delphi Corp.

At noon on Sunday, May 4, 50 students from six area high schools will compete in a special "Battle Egg’Bots" contest. Teams from Avon High School, Honeoye Falls-Lima Senior High School, Greece Athena High School, Greece Olympia High School, Palmyra-Macedon High School and Edison Tech in the Rochester City School District will vie to break the eggs carried by opposing teams’ robots.

Note: For more information, visit http://www.sme.org/robotcontest