College robots to take on Philadelphia

Members of the College’s Annual Robotics Summer Camp race their cars through wooden mazes and need to maintain their robots.  (Photos courtesy of Orlando Hernandez)

Members of the College’s Annual Robotics Summer Camp race their cars through wooden mazes and need to maintain their robots. (Photos courtesy of Orlando Hernandez)

A group of the College’s engineering students can expect to see celebrity guests, advanced film and TV screenings and high stakes tournaments at the Games and Media Expo in greater Philadelphia, a national gaming convention and pop culture festival that will take place from Oct. 23-25.

GameX, produced by Virtual Rush Gaming and NBC Channel 10, is designed to draw national, regional and local audiences of game players, film and TV fans, comic book buffs and technology enthusiasts.

This year, the College will be showcasing its talent in the Robotics exhibition.

The Robotics demonstration, inspired by the College’s Summer Robotics Camp, a high school program led by Orlando Hernandez, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be performed by the College’s own engineering students. The Summer Robotics Camp was started two years ago, according to Hernandez, to enhance the visibility of the College’s school of engineering and give high school juniors and seniors the college experience they are looking for.

“Admission to the camp is competitive. The first year, 16 students were admitted and 40 the second year. Next year we plan to double enrollment,” Hernandez said.

The camp, recommended by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), focuses mainly on class rank and an essay when considering admission.

The program, led by Hernandez, adjunct professor Christine Delahanty, professor Marvin Kurland, associate professor Jennifer Wang and two senior engineering students at the College, involves full courses, weekly competitions and campus living.

Members of the College’s Annual Robotics Summer Camp race their cars through wooden mazes and need to maintain their robots.  (Photos courtesy of Orlando Hernandez)

Members of the College’s Annual Robotics Summer Camp race their cars through wooden mazes and need to maintain their robots. (Photos courtesy of Orlando Hernandez)

“The students also get to participate in fun activities such as bowling and field trips,” Hernandez said.

GameX is a listed sponsor for the camp which Hernandez hopes will heighten visibility for not only the camp, but also the College’s school of Engineering.

GameX also gives students the opportunity to participate as volunteers.

“It will be a friendly environment for students to come out and support their friends and even get involved,” said Keith Kozak, junior art education major. “There are many opportunities for volunteers.”

According to gamexpo.us, some of those opportunities involve receiving a pair of GameX weekend passes, a GameX staff t-shirt and access to a Saturday night VIP party in return for their time. Volunteers will also be provided with lunch, drinks and snacks on all three days of the show. The volunteers must be 16-years-old and are asked to donate a minimum of 12 hours over the course of the three day event.

Other than participating as a volunteer, students can also enter art into the art competition, where $10,000 in prizes are available, and showcase film projects in the animation festival.

The convention, expecting to have over 20,000 people, “will create a great opportunity for collaborative activities with other camps,” Hernandez said.

“We are excited to bring (the College’s) annual robotics summer camp to GameX and showcase the great projects that their students have created,” said Tristin Hightower, project manager for GameX and co-producer of the GameX Industry Summit. “GameX is committed to showcasing fun, innovative technology and entertainment products from across the country, and (the College’s) electrical and computer engineering’s robots are a great example of superbly crafted, exciting technological entities.”

Further information about GameX can be found at gamexpo.us. For information on volunteering, contact volunteer@gamexpo.us.

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