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Westlake Students Unveil "MarathonBot"

Updated: Friday, February 14 2014, 08:28 AM CST

The finish line for the 2014 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon has a new element this year.  A robot, armed with confetti, will navigate the last portion of the race course and then fire its canister for those gathered to cheer on thousands of runners.  “MarathonBot” was built by the Westlake High School Robotics Team, with parts supplied by race sponsor  Freescale Semiconductor.   Freescale’s Rick Morales says the project is designed to inspire students to pursue careers in STEM … short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.  The company hopes this program will lead to an annual competition between multiple high schools in the Austin area.

“First Team 2468” designed the robot to travel at speeds of over 20 feet per second (about 13 mph).  It can also shift gears and change directions on a dime when operated by one of their team’s skilled controllers.  This year “MarathonBot” is only capable of “running” the final portion of the race, but the students are hoping to design a new power system that will allow them to complete the half marathon in 2015.  Team members like Lynnea Hernandez say programs like this get them excited, and push them to apply to the nation’s leading universities to pursue hi-tech careers.

Westlake Students Unveil "MarathonBot"


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