August 13, 2020
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Pokémon and robots are coming to campus

By Sydney Shaw
Opinions Editor

The College now has more opportunities to host tournaments on campus, whether it be one robot pitted against another or Kirby vs. Charizard in a match of “Super Smash Bros.,” as the Robotics Club and Competitive Gaming Club were officially recognized by Student Government at the general body meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 5.

The Robotics Club, headed by Dean of Engineering Steven Schreiner, aims to help students develop skills in engineering by teaching them to build and program robots.

Schreiner has already provided a few Nao (pronounced “now”) robots for the club. Nao is a humanoid robot about two feet tall, developed by the French company Aldebaran Robotics.

“They can talk and interact with each other,” junior Robotics Club president Sarah Dresher said.

Dresher explained that the club plans to engage the College community by having talking robots at different events around campus.

“We want to have the Nao robots at Accepted Students Day,” Dresher said. “We can program them to give prospective students a tour of Armstrong Hall, for example.”

If designing tour-giving robots sounds like an overwhelming project, have no fear: The club hosts special workshop meetings to inform students who might not be so savvy regarding microprocessors, IR sensors — which measure distance — and other information necessary to construct and use their own robots.

“There are firefighting robot competitions where robots are programmed to find a candle in a maze and extinguish it,” Dresher said. “In the robo-waiter competition, the robot has to deliver a tray of food.”

The club has competed in the Micromouse Competition before, during which small robot mice solve a 16 square- inch maze.

Governmental Affairs found no weaknesses with Robotics Club and voted unanimously in favor.

Competitive Gaming Club serves to create a community of passionate gamers to participate in “League of Legends,” “Super Smash Bros.,” “Starcraft” and other tournaments.

President Mitch Vaughn plans to analyze and teach game strategy during club meetings. “We want to provide gamers the opportunity to test their skill against their friends and other students at tournaments,” he said. “‘Super Smash Bros.’ is incredibly popular on campus right now.”

Vaughn wants to add Pokémon to the list of tournaments once the club is up and running.

Competitive Gaming Club did not seek out club status to obtain Student Finance Board funding, but wants to use its new recognition to book rooms for meetings and tournaments and to advertise with flyers around campus.

Governmental Affairs voted all in favor with one abstention.

Later in the meeting, Vice President Mike Chiumento announced that Dean of Recreation Rob Simels will be speaking next week about the recreation organization. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Simels is hosting a Wellness event at 6:30 p.m. in Roscoe 201, at which people will be sharing personal stories and connecting with others.

Vice President of Equity and Diversity Javier Nicasio announced that PRISM’s World AIDS Day Vigil will be held on Monday, Dec. 1. First held in 1988, World AIDS Day is an opportunity for individuals worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for those living with the virus and to remember the more than 3.5 million people who have died from the disease.

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