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University of Iowa News Release


Jan. 4, 2010

UI hosts 'robot versus robot' Iowa Championship at IMU Jan. 9

It will be "robot versus robot" when the 2009-10 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Program at the University of Iowa College of Engineering hosts the FTC Iowa Championship from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The program is free and open to the public.

The program -- new to affiliate partner UI, in cooperation with official national sponsor Rockwell Collins, Inc. of Cedar Rapids -- involves some 24 teams, each composed of five to 10 high school students. The program requires teams to construct robots that compete on a 12-foot-square field in a ball-tossing game called "HotShot."

Teams will compete to score the most points, with the highest-scoring teams advancing in the competition. Teams will also compete for eight special awards, including the Inspire Award and the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. The most prestigious award, the Inspire Award, is given to the team that truly embodies the FTC Challenge. The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award is presented to the team that thinks "outside-the-box" and also uses ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

In addition to the Iowa Championship, other FTC Regional Competitions are scheduled between December 2009 and March 2010, with the winners to compete for the national championship at a later date.

The college of engineering was selected by US FIRST to coordinate FIRST Tech Challenge activities for the State of Iowa. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 by Segway inventor Dean Kamen to encourage student team building skills, entrepreneurship and "gracious professionalism."

Additional information is available at or by contacting coordinator Rebecca Whitaker at 319-335-5706 or

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, writer, 319-384-0009,