Robotics Students Head to Sydney for International Competition

Eight Mercersburg Academy students will compete in at RoboCup International 2019 July 2-8 in Sydney, Australia. It marks the 10th consecutive year for Mercersburg students to compete at the international level. 
Students taking part include Joseph Lieber ’19, Brent Ditzler ’19,  Leo Li ’20, Brandon Lamer-Connolly ’20, Dalton Fitzsimmons ’20, Diego Morgan ’20, Collin Morris ’19, and Gary Zheng ’20. They will be accompanied by faculty members Julia Stojak Maurer ’90 (associate head of school for school life), Jeff Cohen (math faculty and outgoing department head); and Matt Maurer (English and theatre faculty). 
 
The OnStage team (Dalton, Ditzler, Li, and Morgan) qualified in May at RoboCupJunior USA 2019 in New York City. The Rapidly Manufactured Robot Challenge (RMRC) team, made up of Lieber, Lamer-Connolly, Morris, and Zheng, qualified at the international competition in Canada last summer (replacing Mercersburg team members who graduated). 
 
At RoboCupJunior USA 2019 in May, 25 Mercersburg students competed, with the team (called the “Blue Storm”) taking first place in the advanced OnStage category and receiving the programming award. In the Rescue category, Blue Storm (Rescue B) received the algorithm award for the line competition and Blue Storm (Rescue A) earned the hardware design award for the line competition. In the soccer category, Blue Storm took second place in the lightweight secondary competition. 
 
In the OnStage competition, teams are charged with developing a creative stage performance using autonomous robots that they have designed, built, and programmed. The objective is to create a 1-2 minute robotic performance that uses technology to engage an audience. The challenge is intended to be open-ended; teams are encouraged to be as creative, innovative, and entertaining as possible, both in the design of the robots and the design of the overall performance.
 
The Rapidly Manufactured Robot Challenge is part of the RoboCupRescue Robot competition. RMRC promotes the development of low-cost, rapidly manufacturable small (30 cm width) robots and robotic components that enable first responders to more safely and effectively perform hazardous mission tasks.
 
“We’re excited and proud of our students as they represent our school and our country in the international competition in Sydney,” said Julie Maurer, who adds that another factor adding to the anticipation is that Mercersburg’s Mid-Atlantic Prep League for The Hill School is also competing in the RMRC. 
 
A total of 47 Mercersburg students have now taken part in international RoboCup competitions since 2007. Check out the team’s blog for photos and more updates.
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Founded in 1893 in the heart of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, Mercersburg is a private, coed, college preparatory boarding school with approximately 435 students (15 percent are day), grades 9-12 and postgraduate.
We offer 170 courses, including AP and Honors, more than $7 million in financial aid, 26 varsity sports, and a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center.
Located 90 minutes from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, and within easy driving distance of New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
100 Academy Drive, Mercersburg, PA 17236
GPS Address: 10951 Buchanan Trail West, Mercersburg, PA 17236
717-328-6173