July 17, 2008

Campus community can relive excitement of DEXTER, TeamCASE during July 21 Science Channel documentary, viewing party


When DEXTER, Case Western Reserve University's autonomous vehicle, was introduced to the campus community last fall, its debut was a source of pride for the entire university. Students, faculty, staff and friends of the university can relive the excitement - and those who are new to campus can be introduced to DEXTER and TeamCASE - during an airing of the Discovery Science Channel's Robocars documentary at 10 p.m., July 21.

DEXTER, which finished in the top 20 last fall in the United States Department of Defense's DARPA Urban Challenge robotic vehicle race, is supposed to be prominently featured in this second installment of the Discovery Science Channel's Robocars, a six-part series. To mark the occasion, the Case Alumni Association (CAA) is a hosting a viewing party beginning at 9 p.m. at Johnny Malloy's in Cleveland Heights.

Producers documented TeamCASE, made up of more than 40 students and faculty from the Case School of Engineering, as it prepared for the DARPA Urban Challenge. Although several members of TeamCASE recently graduated and have started their new careers, several team members will attend the viewing party, along with faculty, staff and friends of DEXTER. The event will feature a cash bar, a pizza buffet, and the chance to watch the documentary on the big screen.

Partygoers will have an opportunity to mingle with TeamCASE during the evening. Wyatt Newman, team leader and professor of electrical engineering and computer science, says he and others will be available to answer questions about DEXTER and the Urban Challenge, an event that required teams to build a robotic vehicle capable of driving in traffic and performing complex maneuvers such as merging, passing, parking and negotiating intersections. The goal of the challenge was to research and develop technology that will keep soldiers off the battlefield and out of harm's way.

Bradley Hughes, a TeamCASE member and third-year electrical engineering major, says the most important thing people should bring to the viewing party is "their excitement to see Case in the national spotlight." DEXTER was the first-ever entry by Case Western Reserve in the popular robotic vehicle competition.

During the next three installments of Robocars -- including the July 21 airing -- several teams will be documented on their quest to compete in the DARPA Urban Challenge. The fifth episode is a two-hour summary of the first four episodes, and the final installment, scheduled to air at 10 p.m., August 11, will focus on the application of autonomous robotics to the emerging autonomous vehicle industry.

All six Robocars episodes will air several times throughout the months of July and August.

For more information about the viewing party send an e-mail to Jillian DeLong, the CAA representative for the event.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, July 17, 2008 01:37 PM | News Topics: Events, Faculty, HeadlinesMain, Research, Staff, Students, Technology, features

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