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HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (June 30, 2010) – Competing against 20 university and college teams across the country, Tidewater Community College engineering students slammed into second place in a prestigious student robotics competition held in Louisville, Ky., on June 21, part of the American Society for Engineering Education’s annual conference.

Contenders in the baseball-themed ‘bots’ contest included teams from Virginia, New York, Maine, Ohio, Texas and Alabama.

TCC fielded two teams – one from the Virginia Beach Campus and the other from TCC’s facility at the Tri-Cities Center in Suffolk. Both teams hit grand slams during the competition, placing second and fifth, respectively.

VB Campus Team accepts the 2nd Place award.
Daniel Hare lines up the cannons.

The teams built “baseball bots” designed to hit ping pong balls into outfield targets and round the bases, while knocking down basemen in record times. The Virginia Beach Campus Blue Bomber never missed a target or infielder, and averaged a blazing 3 seconds when “running” around the bases. The Tri-Cities bot averaged 5-second runs and missed only two outfield targets during the four innings they competed on the field.

Video - VB Campus Team 1st run Video - Tri-Cities trial run before the competition

“We were thrilled with our results, after spending countless hours designing and building the bots,” says Paul Gordy, engineering program head and one of two faculty advisors on the project. “This competition was a great learning experience for the 115 students involved,” adds Steve Ezzell, the other advisor and TCC engineering professor.

TCC team members were Frank Aikhu, Steven Bockman, Colin Burns, Marcus Deadwiler, Daniel Hare, David Harter, LiamKonouck, Jon Kurzer, Ryan McMullin, Sean Moninger, David Nagy, Paul Tobin and Nick Wade.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 15th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System. The college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-six percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit