Tech Robotics Teams Dominate International Contest, May 17, 2001

SOCORRO, N.M., May 17, 2001 -- Students on robotics teams from New Mexico Tech were called to the awards stand more times than anyone else during last month's Eighth Annual Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest, an international robotics contest which is held each year at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

Five out of the nine robotics entries fielded by New Mexico Tech placed among the top ten positions in the senior division of the fire-fighting robot competition, coming out ahead of more than 50 other competing robots designed by individuals and teams from throughout the United States, Canada, Korea, Israel, Romania, and Kuwait.

"New Mexico Tech 2," an entry submitted by Tech graduate student Jose Guilberto, placed second overall in the senior division; while "New Mexico Tech 1," another robot designed and built by Guilberto, ended up in 11th place.

Other New Mexico Tech entries also fared well in the robotics contest, including a fourth-place finish by "Tail," a robot designed and developed by Tech students Michael Berg, Seth Schuyler, Bill Willems, and Thomee Wright.

"Hades," a robot built by team members Michael Carpenter, Kyle Lamb, and Daniel Rodriguez finished sixth; "The Robert Paulson Project," by Scott Dearie, Kevin Fisher, Brian Rajala, and Steve Wasson finished seventh; and "New Mexico Tech 3," designed and built by Tech electrical engineering professors and robotics teams faculty advisors Stephen Bruder and Kevin Wedeward, finished ninth.

All contestants at the Fire-Fighting Home Robot Contest were challenged to build a computerized, autonomous (not remotely controlled), robotic device, which could move through the hallways and rooms of a scaled-down, one-story house, detect a lit candle, and then extinguish the flame. The team which accomplished the task in the least amount of time was declared the winner.

The other New Mexico Tech fire-fighting robots entered in this year's international competition included:


  • "B.J." (which placed 11th) and "B.J. 2" (which placed 19th), team members were Jonathan Andrews, David Baird, Jon Carmignani, and Miguel Provencio; and
  • "El Patron" (which placed 21st), team members were Anthony Montoya, Jr., Ivan Olguin, and Randy Sena.