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News Release

Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

December 3, 2007
MEDIA CONTACT: Diana Schulin

Media Advisory
Johns Hopkins Holds Lego Robot Competition

On Monday, Dec. 3, students in a master's-level computer science course will put to the test concepts they've learned during the fall by participating in a LEGO robot competition at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. During the competition, the Segway-like robots must balance on two wheels, just as their real-life counterparts do. The robot that stays balanced the longest wins.

The competition will take place in APL's Kossiakoff Center, located on the APL campus in Laurel, Md. Students will fine- tune their robots starting at 7:30 p.m., and the official competition will begin at 8 p.m.

Five teams, each composed of four to five students, will participate. Each team has built its own robot, using the Java programming language to control the machines. Beginning with the same reference design, the student teams have made custom improvements to their creations using educational kits with the latest LEGO NXT technology. The robots are each approximately 8 inches tall by 6 inches wide by 2 inches deep, roughly the same size as a thick novel.

In their course, Software Development for Real-Time Systems, the competing students have examined the hardware and software technologies behind real-time, embedded computer systems. Embedded computers are utilized in many modern devices, from smart kitchen appliances to sophisticated flight control systems for airliners and yes, robots.

The Johns Hopkins Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals, the Whiting School of Engineering's educational component for working professionals, offers this course as part of its master's degree program in computer science.

Directions to the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory:

From Baltimore and I-95 (southbound): Take I-95 South from the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) intersection. Go 13 miles and take Columbia exit (MD Route 32 West). Go 2.5 miles and take Washington DC exit (US Route 29 South). Go 1.5 miles and take Johns Hopkins Road exit. APL is on the right about 0.5 mile. Turn right onto Pond Road, and follow signs to the Kossiakoff Center parking on the lower lot.

From Washington and I-95 (northbound): Take I-95 North from the Capital Beltway (I-495) toward Baltimore. Go 8 miles and take MD Route 216 West (toward Scaggsville). Go 1.2 miles, turn right onto Leishear Road. Go 0.8 mile, turn left onto Gorman Road. Go 0.7 mile, cross traffic circle and bridge over US Route 29. Road name changes to Johns Hopkins Road. APL is on the right about 0.5 mile. Turn right onto Pond Road, and follow signs to the Kossiakoff Center parking on the lower lot.

From US Route 29: Proceed on US 29 to the Johns Hopkins Road exits. APL is about 0.5 mile west. Turn right on Pond Road, and follow the signs to the Kossiakoff Center parking on the lower lot.

Part of The Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering, the Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals offer masters degrees in 14 distinct disciplines. There are currently more than 2,200 students enrolled in EPP programs at seven education centers throughout the Baltimore/Washington area and online. For more information on EPP programs and functions, contact Associate Dean Allan Bjerkaas at 410-540-2960, visit the Web site at www.epp.jhu.edu, or e-mail epp@jhu.edu.