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Computer Science Majors Build Robots to Extinguish Fires in Hartford, Connecticut

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Posted on Monday, May 16, 2016

This spring, two Westminster College computer science majors participated in the Trinity College International Robot Competition in Hartford, Connecticut.

The international robot competition hosted 140 teams from the United States, Canada, China, Portugal, Israel and Indonesia. During the day, students create and program “firefighting” robots to autonomously navigate through a mock home, find a candle and extinguish it.

“The Watcher," a robot created by Ben Parker and Nick Caiazza, successfully extinguished the candle once in five attempts, placing them in the top half of their division.

Dr. David Shaffer, associate professor of computer science, advised the group. Tim Matyas ’12 accompanied the Westminster teams to Hartford.

These teams were funded by the Westminster College math and computer science departments and the Drinko Center.

For more information, contact Shaffer at (724) 946-7292. For learn more about the competition, visit