Friday, June 5, 2009

RoboDragons going to Austria

Welcome readers! This blog will describe my daughter Rachel's journey with her robotics team, the RoboDragons. This first post may be redundant for some of you, but future posts will give updates on our fundraising efforts. Once we are on our trip, we will be posting updates from the tournament in Graz, Austria.

The RoboDragons scored highest in the nation in their event, rescue mission, in the primary division (age 14 and under) of RoboCup Junior. The team has been asked to represent the United States at the international tournament, RocoCup 2009 ( in Graz, Austria at the end of June 2009. Rachel and her teammates feel privileged to have been given this honor and opportunity.

The team arose from a weekly roboclub meeting at Storming Robots Technology Center, a robotics studio in Branchburg, New Jersey.

Here is a photo of the rescue robot. The reddish glow is from the light sensors, used to track the line and identify "victims" (the body outline ahead of the robot). Gears on the side allowed the robot to ascend a twenty-five degree angled ramp in order to rescue more victims.

The team must pay its own way to Austria, and team members are responsible for their travel costs, lodging, meals and registration fees. To fund participation in the international competition, we are engaging in fundraising. Unfortunately, time is short and we must quickly raise the money needed to travel to Austria. We estimate that the costs for each team member will be about $2000.

We hope that some of you are able to help Rachel and the RoboDragons to represent the United States at RoboCup 2009. We understand that times are tough, and any donations would be greatly appreciated. A Paypal account has been set up and can be accessed at, using the email address

We would also appreciate corporate support, if you have corporate contacts. Although Storming Robots Technology Center is not a public school or a 501(c)(3) entity, the center is a big supporter of public technology education and does provide programming to home schools and public schools. Support for the RoboCup team also will not provide any financial benefit or profit to the center.

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