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Overdrive to Test 1500 High School Students in Battle of the Robots at Drexel

March 24, 2008

What: More than 1,500 high school students from eight states will compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Regional Robotics Competition on March 28 and 29 at Drexel University.

During this year’s game, called “Overdrive,” two teams made up of three schools each will race robots around a 27-foot-by-54-foot track while knocking down 40-inch balls and moving them around the track. The robots will attempt to carry the balls over or under a 7-foot-high overpass. Points are scored when robots cross lane markers and balls are carried past overpasses.

In the first round, lasting 15 seconds, robots’ movement is autonomous, but they can respond to digital signals sent by students stationed at the corners of the track. In the second and final round, lasting two minutes, robots are radio-controlled by students.

Participating students attend 44 schools, including 29 Greater Philadelphia schools.

Visuals: • Students testing their robots, all of which are unique in shape and range in size, up to 6 feet tall and 110 pounds • Wide-eyed students maneuvering their robots in a race against time • Students’ parents and teachers cheering on the teams

When: Friday, March 28 • 9:30 to 9:45 a.m.: opening ceremonies, featuring Selcuk Guceri, dean of Drexel’s College of Engineering; Jeff Gordon, manager of corporate relations at PECO; and David Greenley, site manager and director of technology operations at Rohm and Haas • 9:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.: qualifying matches

Saturday, March 29 • 9:20 a.m. to noon: qualifying matches • 1 to 3 p.m.: final rounds and awards ceremonies

Where: Drexel’s Daskalakis Athletic Center, 33rd and Market streets


News media contact: Brian Rossiter, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or

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