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Press Release 95-05
Mary Ann Peto
(Bus: 216/433-2902)

NASA Lewis Research Center sponsors East Tech students for "Robo-Gladiator" competition at Epcot Center in Florida

Cleveland, OH -- Lewis employees have been working with 17 students from East Technical High School preparing for the highly competitive U.S. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) contest to be held March 30, 31 and April 1, 1995, in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This is the second Lewis sponsored team to attend this competition. Lewis placed eleventh in the 1994 event.

U.S. FIRST is a nonprofit alliance of business, government and education dedicated to increasing the level of student interest in math and science.

"Currently, the students are working on two robot design concepts. One is a "trampoline launcher" designed to throw a ball over the goal and the other is a "kicker," similar to a knee and foot which is designed to "kick" the ball over the goal," said Nancy Rabel-Hall, Lewis' competition coordinator. Each design will be evaluated and the most promising "robo-gladiator" will be selected and the team will focus on optimizing that design.

During the competition, the remote-controlled robots fight to collect, transport and lift as many balls as possible over a horizontal bar and scoring as many points they can in a two minute period. The competition can become fierce as the teams rely on strength, strategy and speed to outmaneuver and outfight their opponents.

The "robo-gladiator" known to the NASA/East Tech team as "Tech F.O.R.C.E." (Futuristic Operating Robot from Cleveland's EasTech) will be competing with more than 40 schools from around the country.

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