A Day for the Next Generation of Roboticists

April 29th, 2015

At the fifth annual Philly Robotics Expo (PRX) on April 20, several hundred local grade-, middle-, and high-school students poured into the Singh Center for Nanotechnology with their machines in tow.

The PRX event, part of Philly Tech Week, was hosted by Penn’s GRASP Lab in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Central High School’s high-achieving robotics team, the RoboLancers. Penn and Drexel University each recently donated $20,000 to the team, funding its trip to the national championships of the FIRST Robotics Competition.

The PRX students are part of a growing phenomenon of teaching science, engineering, and team-building skills through robotics competitions. These contests see students construct, program, and fine-tune custom robots that are pitted against one another in a variety of tasks, such as collecting and stacking boxes, or shooting a ball through a target.

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