Robots will Invade Western New York for Competition in May

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RIT will host hundreds for national robotic technology and engineering challenge, May 4-5

Robots will soon invade Rochester.

The robots, accompanied by hundreds of their human creators from across the United States, will converge on Rochester Institute of Technology, May 4-5, for the 16th annual national Robotic Technology and Engineering Challenge. The event is one of the largest robotic and engineering competitions in North America and RIT is hosting it for the first time ever.

Students from middle school through college will compete in 16 Olympic-style robotic challenges designed to complement engineering and technology classroom curricula. Robots will be used to maneuver mazes, navigate obstacle courses, travel on a simulated lunar surface, climb stairs, kick soccer balls and even "sumo" wrestle.

Automated and flexible-manufacturing work cellsóin essence, mini-factories-will also be judged, and students will demonstrate knowledge of problem-solving skills, teamwork and creativity.

The challenge will begin with project demonstrations, displays and tours from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. "Elimination heats" will run 6:30 to 10 p.m. on May 4.

Competition and judging is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, May 5. All events will be in the Frank Ritter Ice Arena and the Louise M. Slaughter Building on the RIT campus.

An awards ceremony follows competition from 5 to 6 p.m. on May 5 in Ingle Auditorium in RITís Student Alumni Union.

The event is sponsored by Robotics International of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, RIT, Fluid Power Education Foundation, Advanced Design Inc., Amatrol Denford and Intelitele.

Note: For more information, including photo galleries from last yearís challenge, visit

Robotics International of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is dedicated to the advancement of the robotics profession, keeping members up to date on the latest technical information and providing valuable opportunities for education and professional development.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the worldís leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing engineers and executives annually. The Society has members in 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of chapters worldwide. Visit SME at

Founded in 1829 and located in western New York state, RIT is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging, technology, fine and applied arts, and education for the deaf. RIT enrolls 15,000 students in more than 240 undergraduate and graduate programs.

For the past decade, U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIT as one of the nationís leading comprehensive universities. RIT is also included in Yahoo! Internet Lifeís Top 100 Wired Universities, Fiskís Guide to Americaís Best Colleges and Barronís Best Buys in Education.

RITís College of Applied Science and Technology offers programs in civil engineering technology/environmental management and safety; electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering technology; hospitality and service management; manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology; packaging science and multidisciplinary studies. The college is home to RITís American College of Management and Technology in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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