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Northrop-Grumman Sponsors Lego Mindstorm Competition

Teams will build 'bots to battle treacherous terrain in two-day trial

September 11, 2009 —

Viterbi alumnus Dr. Jinbo Chen of the Northrop Grumman Information Systems division came to Olin Hall to give the Viterbi Grad Student Association the makings of a robot competition.

VGSA President Trevor Orr, left, accepts a check from Northrop-Grumman's Dr. Jinbo Chen.
Chen is  Northop's USC Future Technical  Leaders Program Alumni Recruiter, running a program which brings M.S. and PhD students into the company and provide training to set them on a  full career path.

The $5500 check delivered into the hands of VGSA President Trevor Orr will buy a large batch of Lego Mindstorm Robot Kits, which will go into the hands of Viterbi students for a special competition.

The donation came at the prompting of Chris Leung, the former CS grad student who was the creator of the Project: Possibility initiative, and now represents the Viterbi School in Shanghai, China.

According to Orr, "the competition will be held over the course of two days  and will challenge engineers to design and build a robot capable of  traversing a difficult track.

"The first day, teams will be allowed to  familiarize themselves with the robotic kits and begin to build the  robots. The second day will be reserved for completing the robot and
racing around track.

"The Lego Mindstorm competition was suggested and  will be led by Nadav Ivzan, the current VGSA VP Finance and former BME senator.

"The top three teams in the competition will be allowed to keep  their robots. The remaining robotic kits will be donated to Iridescent  Learning (http://www.iridescentlearning.org/), which was founded by a  former USC AME student, Tara Chklovski."

The check presentation was witnessed by Viterbi School Senior Associate Dean John O'Brien and Associate Deans Margie Berti and Kelly Goulis.