Tuesday, May 16, 2017

MIT Hosted a 'Star Wars' Themed Robotics Competition

By: Dominic Jones 

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars back in 1977 and this has led to some fun celebrations of the saga.  This included a major cast reunion at Star Wars Celebration last month in Orlando, where actors from all seven films--including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Hayden Christensen, and Ian McDiarmid--joined Star Wars creator George Lucas onstage.  The event culminated in a special concert conducted by John Williams.

While few events will be as star studded as the Celebration panel, there are some other creative events taking place.  One of the more unique, yet fitting, tributes to the saga took place at MIT last week where the school hosted its annual robotics competition.  This year the competition had a Star Wars theme, complete with an X-Wing obstacle course and professors and students dressed as Star Wars characters.

"This year, in a nod to the 40th anniversary of the first “Star Wars” film, released in 1977, the robots crawled around and over a replica of a “Star Wars” X-wing Starfighter. Students could earn points by pulling up a sliding frame to rescue prisoners trapped in carbonite; by dumping Imperial stormtroopers into a trash trench; by activating a cantina band; or by spinning up one or both of two large cylindrical thrusters on the wings."

The X-Wing from the competition was later spotted on campus with a joke for sale sign on it. The Twitter account @MITstudents tweeted a picture,
One thing is certain, the Force is strong at MIT. 

Sources: MIT News, The Boston Globe

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