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Jonas Dino                                                                  July 27, 2004
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 or 650/604-9000
E-mail: Jonas.Dino@nasa.gov


Note to Editors: 04-73AR

NASA SPONSORS NATIONAL BOTBALL ROBOTICS COMPETITION IN SAN JOSE

News media representatives are invited to cover the Botball National Conference on Educational Robotics, July 26-28 at the San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, Calif. The Botball Educational Robotics program is a high-tech, high-energy approach to education that integrates science, engineering and math with robotics to keep students interested and involved with cutting-edge technology.

Date:          July 26-28, 2004
Schedule:   9:30 a.m. PDT July 26-28 Paper sessions
                   1:30 p.m. PDT July 27 Seeding competition
                   7:00 p.m. PDT July 27 Robot showcase
                   1:30 p.m. PDT July 28 H-H double elimination
                   7:00 p.m. PDT July 28 Collegiate finals
What:         Botball National Conference on Educational Robots, co-located with the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).
Where:       San Jose Convention Center, 150 W. San Carlos St., San Jose, Calif.

Highlighting the conference are the National Botball Tournament and the Collegiate Botball Challenge, where teams from across the nation compete for trophies and a year’s worth of bragging rights. Teams compete against each other on a four-foot-by-eight-foot playing field in a fast-paced, non-destructive tournament. Robots are completely student-built and programmed for different maneuvers. Once the game starts, students step back and the robots start, stop and compete by themselves without the aid of remote controls.

NASA is a major sponsor of the non-profit educational robotics programs produced by the KISS Institute for Practical Robots as part of NASA's mission to inspire the next generation of explorers. The hands-on experience students receive by building and testing autonomous robots is a key to learning the technology and inspiring the creative thinking needed by future scientists and engineers.

Botball has proven its appeal to students and teachers across the country and in a wide range of educational settings. This year, more then 260 student teams have competed in Botball tournaments in 13 regions of the U.S. Approximately 40 of those teams are competing at the national event. The event also encourages the development of written papers and oral presentations on educational robotics by and for teachers and students.

For event passes, contact Terry Grant 650/604-4200 or Marci Corey (mcorey@kipr.org).

For information about robotics at NASA, visit:

http://spacelink.nasa.gov/NASA.Projects/Space.Science/Robotics/.index.html

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