* Purdue FIRST Programs
* FIRST Robotics Boilermaker Regional
* FIRST Robotics National

March 9, 2007

Robot teams hit the mat at Purdue 'sporting' competition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The FIRST Boilermaker Regional Competition, in which teams of high school and college students, mentors and their robot inventions compete against each other in a "sporting" event, takes place March 15-17 in the Purdue University Armory.

About 40 teams are expected to participate in the FIRST competition, or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, a program that combines sports with science and technology. Qualifying matches take place Thursday and Friday (March 15-16), and top-ranked teams will compete in final rounds on Saturday (March 17) 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. Saturday (March 17), after which awards and trophies will be presented in the Elliott Hall of Music.

2006 FIRST Boilermaker Regional Robotics Competition
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"We have 11 more teams coming this year, so we expect the energy and enthusiasm to reach new heights as the students and their robots compete during the three-day event," said Amy Przybylinski, event co-chairperson and a Purdue mechanical engineering graduate. "This is the third year for our event at Purdue, and we have students from 10 states and a team from San Juan, Puerto Rico."

The 2007 game, called "Rack 'N' Roll," measures the dexterity and skill of robots and human players through intense, fast-paced matches. Robots are designed to hang inflated colored tubes of pegs configured in rows and columns on a 10-foot-high center "rack" structure. Robots score extra points by being lifted off the ground in their "home zone," an assigned area at the end of the court, before the end of the two minute and 15 second match.

High school students work with professional engineers and teachers to design, build and test their robots in just six weeks. Nationally, more than 32,500 high school students participate in 37 regional competitions across the country. More than 300 teams that have won regional events will travel to Atlanta for the April 12-14 international championship.

"The program gives high school students the opportunity to make new friends and renew friendships from previous years and use their knowledge about science, engineering and technology while having fun," Przybylinski said. "Even more importantly, it gives them the chance to learn leadership and teamwork skills and become involved with something that will help them professionally and personally in their future."

Teams at the Purdue Boilermaker Regional will come from Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, New Hampshire, North Dakota, California, Illinois and Kentucky, as well as the group from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Sponsors for the regional competition include NASA, Purdue University, Purdue Office of the Provost, Delphi Corp., Schlumberger Co., Indiana Space Grant Consortium, General Motors Corp., Rolls-Royce Corp., Coca-Cola Co., One Source Equipment Rentals and Snowbear Frozen Custard.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway human transporter. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs 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 and their sponsors include:

* Team #45, Kokomo. Delphi Corp., Ivy Tech Community College and Kokomo-Center School System.

* Team #135, Mishawaka. Power Lift/Patrick Metals, General Motors Corp., BOSCH, AM General, PHM Community and Penn High School.

* Team #234, Indianapolis. Allison Transmission, Rolls-Royce Corp., 74 individual sponsors and Perry Meridian High School.

* Team #292, Russiaville. DaimlerChrysler Kokomo Transmission Plant and Western High School.

* Team #461, West Lafayette. Purdue University FIRST Programs and West Lafayette junior and senior high school teams.

* Team #829, Indianapolis. ProportionAir Corp, Rolls-Royce Corp. and Walker Career Center.

* Team #868, Carmel. ITT Technical Institute, Rolls-Royce Corp. and Delphi Corp., and Carmel High School.

* Team #1018, Indianapolis. Beckman Coulter, Rolls-Royce Corp., Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Waterjet Cutting of Indiana, ITT Technical Institute, and Pike Academy of Science and Engineering.

* Team #1024, Indianapolis. Aircom Manufacturing, Beckman Coulter, Rolls-Royce Corp. and the Bernard K. McKenzie Career Center.

* Team #1327, South Bend. CTS Corp., South Bend Mayor's After School Program, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Mack Tool Engineering, University of Notre Dame and South Bend School Corp.

* Team #1501, Huntington. UTEC, Wabash Technologies, Indiana Department of Workforce Development, 4-H Robotics and Huntington North High School.

* Team #1529, Indianapolis. Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Rolls-Royce Corp., Fab2Order and Southport High School.

* Team #1555, Monon. Leis Machine Shop, Liberty Township and North White High School.

* Team #1646, Lafayette. Caterpillar, Purdue FIRST Programs, McCutcheon High School and Jefferson High School.

* Team #1720, Muncie. NASA, Ball State University and Muncie-Delaware County schools.

* Team #1741, Greenwood. NASA, Rolls-Royce Corp., National Starch and Chemical Co., and Center Grove School Corp.

* Team #1747, West Lafayette. NASA, Purdue FIRST Programs and William Henry Harrison High School.

* Team #1760, Kokomo. Indiana Department of Workforce Development, Freescale Semiconductor, Delphi, Duke Energy, Richard Lasbury, DDS, and Delphi and Taylor Community Schools.

* Team #2171, Crown Point. NASA, Indiana Department of Workforce Development and Crown Point High School.

Other teams participating in the FIRST competition include:

* Team #85, Zeeland, Mich. Trans-matic, Town & Country Group, ITWDrawform, Herman Miller Foundation, Gentex Corp., Midway Machine Technologies, Plascore Inc., TNT Logistics, Holland Motor Freight, Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Zeeland West and East high schools.

* Team #141, Holland, Mich. JR Automation Technologies Inc., Engineering Automation Systems Inc., Tric Tool Inc, Plascore Inc., Horizon Outlet Center and West Ottawa High School.

* Team #166, Merrimack, N.H. BAE Systems and Merrimack High School.

* Team #554, Thomas, Ky. Proctor and Gamble Inc. and Highlands High School.

* Team #573, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. DaimlerChrysler AG's Mercedes Car Group, Brother Rice High School and Marian High School.

* Team #878, Rugby, N.D. University of North Dakota, Rugby Welding and Machine, Rugby Manufacturing, Dakota Prairie Supply and Rugby High School.

* Team #931, St. Louis. Emerson Electric Co., WaterJet Tech-Waterjet Cutting Service, Ranken Technical College, St. Louis Public Schools and Gateway Institute of Technology.

* Team #1023, Temperance, Mich. Midwest Fluid Power, Michigan Department of Education, La-Z-Boy Inc., Macsteel Service Centers USA, Dynics Inc., Steel Dimensions Inc. and Bedford High School.

* Team #1038, West Hills, Calif. Tyco Electronics, MBDA Missile Systems, Frazier Aviation, Medtronic Inc., Jostens Inc., Xerox Corp., Wells Fargo Bank West Hills and Chaminade College Preparatory.

* Team #1189, Grosse Pointe, Mich. General Motors Co. and Grosse Pointe Public Schools.

* Team #1319, Mauldin, S.C. AdvanceSC, Sealed Air Corp., Cryovac Federal Credit Union, AssetPoint Inc., National Electrical Carbon Inc., Greenville Country Schools and Mauldin High School.

* Team #1730, Lee's Summit, Mo. R&D Tool and Engineering Group, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Black and Veatch Corp., Browns Needlework, Superior Electric Construction Inc., Aquila Inc., Cerner Beyond Now Inc., Control Service Co., Kastle Grinding LLC, P1 Group, Shelton Travel Service Inc., Son Lawn and Tree, Electrical Corp. of America, ADJ-HUX Service Inc., Gary D. Lohr, DDS, Computech Manufacturing Co., Wolverine Fluid Power Inc., David and Nancy Staves, and Lee's Summit High School.

* Team, #1737, Excelsior Springs, Mo. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and Excelsior Spring School District.

* Team #1856, Redford, Mich. NASA and Michigan Technical Academy.

* Team #1872, San Juan, Puerto Rico. NASA, Johnson & Johnson Co. and Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola.

* Team #1918, Fremont, Mich. Kaydon Bearings Co. and Fremont High School.

* Team #1985, Florissant, Mo. NASA, Emerson Electric Co., University of Missouri-Rolla Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, and Hazelwood Central High School.

* Team #1990, Lodi, Ohio. NASA and Cloverleaf Local Schools.

* Team #2015, Holland, Mich. NASA, Aalderink Electric Co. and Wavecrest Career Academy.

* Team #2081, Peoria, Ill. NASA, Advanced Technology Services and Peoria Notre Dame High School.

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192,

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

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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 Armory. Photographs can be taken at the event, however, there are restrictions on where photographers and videographers may locate during the actual competition. B-roll is 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, Purdue News Service, at (765) 494-4192, (317) 938-5209 (cell),


Westside Boiler Invasion team members Andrea Pluckebaum and Clif Reeder from West Lafayette, Ind., watch as their robot competes in the last year's FIRST Boilermaker Regional Robotics Competition at Purdue. The 2007 contest, which is free and open to the public, will take place March 15-17 in the Purdue Armory. (Purdue News Service file photo/Dave Umberger)

A publication-quality file photo is available at


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