LOWELL - University of Massachusetts at Lowell's new Campus Recreation Center will be the scene of a high-tech, high-energy competition on Saturday, March 27, as 14 high school and middle school teams from Massachusetts and Rhode Island compete in the national Botball program.
Student teams had just seven weeks to create robots -- using kits from the KISS ("Keep It Simple, Stupid") Institute for Practical Robotics - that can compete completely on their own, with no remote control.
"These are robots with brains," says Dr. Holly Yanco, assistant professor of computer science. "Students have designed, built and programmed their robots, and the competition is very exciting."
The Botball team competition starts with the seeding rounds, from 10 a.m. to noon, in which each team will show off its robot's capabilities. The double elimination tournament of head-to-head competition will be held from 1 to 4 p.m.
An associated event, the Botfest, is an exhibition of robotics and animatronics for inventors of all ages. Botfest will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is the perfect place to show off creations and meet other inventors. Botfest will include demonstrations by college students, corporate groups, and school and community exhibitors.
More information about the tournament and exhibition can be found at www.cs.uml.edu/botfest.
Algonquin Regional, Northboro
Ashland High/Middle School, 2 teams
Burncoat Middle School, Worcester
Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School, 2 teams
Needham High School
Northbridge High School, Whitinsville, 2 teams
Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury
South Kingston High School, Wakefield, RI, 2 teams
Waltham High School
Wellesley High School
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