Computer Science Major Earned Honors at Firefighting Home Robot Contest

Friday, July 11, 2014

Westminster College first-year computer science major Anthony Groves earned third place among U.S. teams in his division at the Trinity College Firefighting Home Robot Competition in Hartford, Conn., this spring.

Groves' robot, "Gimpy," also took home sixth place in the open division.  The international competition included teams from the U.S., China, Portugal, Israel, Canada, and Indonesia.

Groves is a son of Keith and Debra Groves of Washington and a graduate of Trinity High School.

The robots were programmed to navigate autonomously through a mock home, find a candle, and extinguish it.

In addition to Groves, five students from Mercer Area High School participated.  Mercer's robot, "Cybele," garnered first place in the poster and presentation competition and "Reggie" placed second among U.S. teams and third overall in the high school division.

Groves and the Mercer students - Anna Garner, Ryan Hamilton, Chris Micsky, Benjamin Shaffer, and Rebecca Shaffer - were advised by Dr. David Shaffer, Westminster associate professor of computer science.  Shaffer and Westminster computer science alumnus Tim Matyas accompanied the group to the competition.

The project was funded by Westminster's Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Westminster's Drinko Center for Experiential Learning.

Contact Shaffer at 724-946-7292 or email for more information.  Click here and here for additional information about the robots.

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.

Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

Click image to enlarge.

(L-r) Benjamin Shaffer, Rebecca Shaffer, Anna Garner, Chris Micsky, and Anthony Groves