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Students compete with robots at Somerset Mall Feb. 12

Release Date: February 6, 2012

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Students in grades 4-12 from half a dozen local communities will compete in a Bottle Robot Sumo competition in the center court of the Somerset Collection at 2800 West Big Beaver Road in Troy on Sunday, Feb. 12, between noon and 6 p.m.

Student teams from Sterling Heights, Northville, Dearborn, Canton, South Lyon, Southfield and Detroit will compete with robots that have been programmed to move a water bottle out of a designated area or else push out a competing robot.

This free demonstration is organized by Lawrence Technological University’s Robofest, an international competition of autonomous robots – computer-programmed to act independently and not radio-controlled – that encourages students to have fun while learning principles of science, technology, engineering, and math. Information about Robofest can be found at

The Bottle Robot Sumo competition is part of the World of Robots event that is presented by Cranbrook Schools and LEGO at the Somerset Collection from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, and 12-6 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.

“Kids love robots, and the participants in Bottle Robot Sumo have learned how to program their own robots,” said CJ Chung, an associate professor at Lawrence Tech. “We hope parents will bring their families to see how much fun kids can have while learning about computer programming.”

Lawrence Tech faculty and staff will provide information about the university’s new bachelor’s degree in robotic engineering.

Lawrence Technological University,, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. Students benefit from small class sizes and experienced faculty who provide a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus include over 60 student groups and NAIA varsity sports.