Pennsylvania Team Captures Best Overall Performance Prize at Trinity’s Robot Contest

Trinity's "Team 7 Robot" Wins First-Place Award in RoboWaiter Event, Standard Division

Hartford, CT, April 7, 2015 - Two high school students from Mercer, Pennsylvania, won the best overall performance prize at the 2015 Trinity College Annual International Robotics Contest, which took place March 28 and 29 on the Trinity campus.

Anna Garner and Kate Shaffer of Mercer Area High School (Pennsylvania) celebrate winning the 2015 BURP (Best Unified Robotics Performance) Award. 
The two young women from Mercer Area High School, Anna Garner and Kate Shaffer, along with their robot, Anouk, earned the coveted Best Unified Robotics Performance Award, known as the BURP Award, bestowed upon the team achieving the best combined score in the arena competition, the poster contest, and the written Olympiad exam. This was the first time in the 22 years of the contest that an all-female team has won the BURP award at Trinity’s annual competition. This year, the robot contest drew more than 100 teams to Hartford for two days of events.

The RoboWaiter event, whose focus is on assistive robotics, was held center stage on Saturday, with the “UBOT-3” Unikom robot from Indonesia taking first place in the advanced division; the Trinity College “Team 7 Robot” achieving first place in the standard division; and the “Jeeves” robot from Talcott Mountain Science Center (Avon, Connecticut) earning first place in the junior level. The goal of assistive robotics is to help people with special needs improve the quality of their lives. RoboWaiter requires an autonomous robot to retrieve a dish of food from a miniature refrigerator and carry it to a small figure seated at a table in a room.

Trinity's Sean Coughlan ’18, Dana Wensberg ’18, and Trey Proctor ’18 show off Team 7 Robot. The team earned first place in the RoboWaiter contest, standard level, and also was honored with the John Gallichotte Award.
For more photos, click here.

The Fire Fighting Contest took place Sunday, with teams from four countries and 11 states participating in six divisions: senior/unique, high school/unique, high school/customized, junior/unique, junior/customized, and walking. The top winners in the Fire Fighting Contest were BANDUNG WR, Politeknik Negeri Bandung (Indonesia), first place in senior division, unique; DALEK, Ironi G, Haifa (Israel), first place in high school division, unique; Shimen 1, Shimen Senior Middle School (China), first place in high school division, customized; TalcottVEX, Talcott Mountain Science Center, first place in junior division, unique; Hope Star, Nanjing X Tribe Robot Club (China), first place in junior division, customized; and PASUNDAN LR, Politknik Negeri Bandung (Indonesia), first place in the walking division. The Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest advances robot technology and knowledge by using robotics as an educational tool. The winning robot must respond to a fire alarm, navigate the maze, locate the flame, and extinguish it in the shortest possible time.

Omer Seri, an Israeli student who is a senior at Ironi G, Haifa, said, “It took us three years to prepare the unique robot for this competition ...We really enjoyed working with our team because we are all best friends and have gotten closer together through our time in robotics.”

The Trinity College International Robot Contest is an open, not-for-profit event promoting the invention of autonomous, socially relevant robots. The contest events are designed to encourage creativity, teamwork, the understanding and application of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, and the sharing of ideas. The principle sponsor of the two-day event is Versa Products Company, Inc. of New Jersey, whose CEO is Jan Larsson, a 1977 Trinity alumna. Versa Products has manufactured pneumatic, hydraulic, manual and solenoid valves since 1949. The other major sponsor of the contest is Trinity College.

For the complete list of 2015 contest winners, click here.  For more photos, click here

Featured on our website home page: Trinity students Basileal Imana ’17 and Nathan Corwin ’15 prepare a robot for competition.

Maddie Perez ’15 contributed to this story. Photos by John Atashian.