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Press Release

Contact:
Lisa Kirchner
412-268-2900

For immediate release:
April 28, 2003

RoboCupJunior Event at Carnegie Mellon Helps Kids Learn Robotics, Cooperation

PITTSBURGH—Junior competitors will take center stage as Carnegie Mellon University hosts the RoboCupJunior tournament as part of the RoboCup American Open on May 2 through 4.

The RoboCupJunior competition will be held at 10 a.m. on May 3, in Rangos Hall in Carnegie Mellon's University Center. The finals will be held at noon on May 4 in the same location.

Twelve teams of secondary school students from Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, Ohio, Quebec and Manitoba will converge to compete in this year's tournament, using robots they built and programmed. One of the teams is from Beaver Falls, Pa.

"RoboCupJunior gives students an opportunity to step out of the box by touching and building technology with their own hands. The initiative emphasizes a cooperative, creative, educational and motivating environment through non-threatening, friendly competitions where the focus is on sharing ideas and cultures," says Elizabeth Sklar, a professor from Columbia University in New York, who is the chair of RoboCup Junior International.

RoboCupJunior offers three challenges to primary and secondary school children. Soccer, where 2-on-2 teams of autonomous mobile robots play games in a 90 by 150 centimeter field, is where future RoboCup champions can get their start. Another event is rescue, where students help their robots race to rescue victims from artificial disaster scenarios. Students can even improve their robot choreography skills by competing in the dance challenge, where robots perform to music in a display that emphasizes creativity of costume and movement.

RoboCupJunior was developed to introduce RoboCup to children; the emphasis is on education and cultivating interest rather than intense competition. Another goal of the event is to help children to learn to work together as in team to achieve a goal.

For more information, please see the RoboCupJunior Web site at: http://www.robocupjunior.org.

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