SolidWorks' Support Grows For Robot Design Competitions
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SolidWorks' Support Grows For Robot Design Competitions

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—December 20, 2006— Aiming to expand the pool of skilled engineers in the U.S., SolidWorks Corporation continues to sponsor robot design competitions to give students a taste of real-world engineering projects. Four programs - MATE ROV, Botball, BEST Robotics, and BotsIQ - are the latest to receive free licenses of SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD and COSMOS(R) design analysis software. Students in middle school through college use the software in these competitions to quickly learn CAD concepts and discover their engineering creativity.

Since 2003, SolidWorks has worked with different organizations to sponsor competitions that give students hands-on experience in planning, designing, testing, building, presenting, and operating robots in term- or year-long competitions. Students learn to work in teams, create bills of materials, order parts, work with industry experts, and make deadlines. Using SolidWorks helps them spend more time developing engineering skills and less time learning CAD software.

Long Beach (Calif.) City College Senior Bryan Bischoff used SolidWorks Student Edition software to teach himself how to design in 3D, instead of continuing to draw in 2D AutoCAD(R). He used his skills to lead a team that designed an undersea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's International ROV Competition.

"Being able to see what we've designed before we make it is huge because we don't waste time fixing problems later," said Bischoff. "That visualization helps us tackle some tough design challenges involving buoyancy and thrust in an underwater environment. Learning these skills and becoming adept at using SolidWorks helped me get my current job (designing industrial power transformers)."

Planting the seed

SolidWorks' support of robot competitions extends to programs that focus on budding engineers in middle and high school, as well as those honing their skills in college. Students in grades 7-12 gain a better appreciation for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts when engaged in a contest to design a working robot. College students using SolidWorks can see graphically how engineering skills translate to robot performance.

"There is a real concern for the declining technical skill set in this country," said Janne Ackerman, president of Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics, Inc., a non-profit organization that sponsors robot competitions for middle and high school students. "SolidWorks' sponsorship of competitions like ours lets students, teachers, and those in the technical sector know that the CAD industry is making an investment in the future by providing tools contestants will use in their careers."

SolidWorks Corporation is donating software licenses to these competitions:

-- Botball - Middle and high school students form teams and design and build autonomous robots that must perform a series of tasks, such as placing colored balls in the right color goals.

-- BotsIQ -- Created from the popular TV show BattleBots, the program includes a complete curriculum of STEM education and teacher training that culminates in students designing and fabricating robots competing nationally and locally in four different types of competition: task oriented, fully autonomous, and 15- and 120-pound robots that face head to head challenges.

-- MATE ROV - Teams from middle school through college use guidance from industry professionals to design sub-sea ROV's that perform tasks such as salvaging objects from the bottom of a pool to simulate real-life recovery operations at great depths.

-- BEST Robotics - Students in grade seven through 12 form teams to design robots that must do tasks such as hang up wet laundry and take down dry laundry or replace batteries on a mini-replica of the Hubble Telescope.

"Without corporate sponsorship, many students in public institutions might not get the chance to experience the fun and the challenge of designing their own robots to compete with other teams from around the country or around the world," said Marie Planchard, SolidWorks director of education. "It's important we give all students the tools to better understand STEM concepts and see what they can accomplish with a little engineering creativity. That's how we seed their enthusiasm for engineering careers."

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks is a registered trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOS is a registered trademark of Structural Research & Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation. Click here ( to listen to a podcast interview with BEST President Janne Ackerman and Long Beach City College Student Bryan Bischoff

You can subscribe to SolidWorks podcasts through iTunes, My Yahoo and sign up to an RSS feed linking you to new podcasts.

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