Fearless 'ChemBot' Tops VEXplorer Contest Winners' Robotic Creations

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—August 25, 2008— Explosions, noxious fumes, burns, stains, and all manner of unpleasantnessthere are times when chemists simply dont want to get too close to the stuff theyre mixing. Offering a potential solution is ChemBot, the $5,000 first-place winner in the Grant Imahara VEXplorer Robot Challenge, sponsored by Revell, Innovation First, Inc. (IFI), Robot magazine, and Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. (Nasdaq: DASTY; Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA), a world leader in 3D solutions.

Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take before conducting an experiment, something might go wrong, said contest winner and Broward Virtual School senior Gustavo Goretkin in his YouTube demonstration ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La9j5eEnEv). Being in a remote location is a surefire safe way for preventing accidents from potentially dangerous experiments. The solution is ChemBot, a remotely controlled robotic arm mounted on a mobile base with a wireless video camera. Like other contest entries, ChemBot was designed in SolidWorks® 3D CAD software.

Out of dozens of applications, the contest gave 25 semifinalist robot enthusiasts a chance to compete for a $5,000 scholarship grand prize and a $2,000 second-place scholarship. Ten more contestants were given a chance to win $200 gift certificates redeemable at www.vexrobotics.com. Contestants used the VEXplorer robotics kit, which includes the SolidWorks Student Design Kit, and any additional robotics parts (up to a limit of $100) from www.vexrobotics.com to create a unique and original application. Entrants then had to post a video demonstration on YouTube. Several competitors included SolidWorks designs and animations in their videos.

ChemBot blended baking soda and vinegar to prompt the familiar fizzing reaction. The second-place winners, Jared Schwartz and Tom Lundberg, filmed their Walking Quadruped Dinosaur ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAM6_PFEz6s&feature=related) tromping through an ancient jungle or perhaps suburban garden rotating an observation camera on its head and neck and nuzzling up to shade plants. Jared is a senior at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School in Bloomsfield Hills, Mich., and Tom is a sophomore there. Recent graduate Andrew Bates is credited with developing the CAD model. Although the second prize was initially set at $2,000 for a single contestant, Imahara and the contest sponsors were so impressed by Tom and Jareds robot that they awarded each a $2,000 scholarship.

ChemBot is a sophisticated design that parallels what we see in law enforcement, military, and emergency response applications, and the Quadruped Dinosaur demonstrates the designers considerable potential for simulating natural movement, said Imahara, chief judge, sponsor, and a host of Discovery Channels hit show Mythbusters. These are the best of many exciting entries that prove what motivated young people can do with the right tools and a little ingenuity.

Runners-up included:

ROBOT INVENTOR
LIFT-O-BOT Eric Hoag
VEXCLEANER ROBOT Eric Chang
WIDE-RANGE SCISSOR GRIP Robert Brik
SUSPENDED VEXPLORATION Peter Campbell
CLIMBOT Eric Diehr
THE PITCHER Kim Pavlovic
HOSTAGE TOWER Clay Rayment
BALL THROWING/PICKING Amanda Bessette
SKYCAM Ethan Porter
PALLET CLIMBING Cody Smith

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