Logo: University of Southern California

MEDIA ADVISORY – April 26, 2014: USC Viterbi Hosts Greater LA Regional Botball Tournament, a STEM Robotics Competition for Middle and High School Students

Press Release
Contact: Megan Hazle – 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu
April 23, 2014 —


RSVP to: Megan Hazle – 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu


WHAT: On Saturday, April 26, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering will host the Greater Los Angeles Botball Regional Tournament
WHO: The following USC Viterbi robotics experts will be on-site at the event and available for interview:


Dr. Maja Matarić, USC Viterbi Professor and Chan Soon-Shiong Chair in Computer Science, Neuroscience and Pediatrics; Vice Dean for Research; Director of Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center (RASC); Co-Director of Robotics Research Lab

Ross Mead, USC Viterbi Ph.D student in computer science; Botball Instructor, rossmead@usc.edu


Saturday, April 26, from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM


University of Southern California, Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC)
3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA 90089

 PARKING: Free parking is available on the USC campus in Parking Structure A (PSA),
located at 3667 McClintock Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90089. Enter through Gate 6 at the intersection of Vermont Avenue & 36th Place. Check in with the parking attendant, and state that you are there for "Botball" for free parking. (If this keyword is not used, you will be charged for parking.) An interactive map is available at http://web-app.usc.edu/maps/#upc/.



Directions to USC’s campus are available here. From Parking Structure A (PSA), walk East on Downey Way to reach the Botball event located in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC).

At the Greater Los Angeles Botball Regional Tournament, 27 teams of middle and high school students – including last year’s winner, South Pasadena High School – will bring their autonomous robots to compete with each other on a custom playing field in a fast-paced, non destructive regional tournament. These student-built robots are programmed to maneuver on the game board without the need for remote control. The Botball Educational Robotics Program educates and inspires students by engaging them in a team-oriented, STEM competition.

This year’s competition theme is socially-assistive robotics, wherein Botball character Botguy's triumphant homecoming from the Mars Sample Return mission is in danger. Botguy needs assistance to re-acclimate his body to Earth after spending months in the zero gravity of space. The mission debrief team must work with a state-of-the-art physical therapy facility to restore his physique, and the world space community is calling upon the student competitors to develop new assistive robot technologies.

Any team that competes in a regional tournament is eligible to participate in the International Botball Tournament, hosted each year by the Global Conference on Educational Robotics. The 2014 tournament will be held at the University of Southern California from July 30 to August 3, 2014.

This year's Greater Los Angeles Regional Botball Tournament is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and hosted by USC Viterbi and the KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KIPR).

About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 174 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships.http://viterbi.usc.edu

Megan Hazle – 213-821-1887 or hazle@usc.edu