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PRESS RELEASE 3/13/2001 - more info contact Mark Joerger - 503-###-####


Two Oregon Teams Compete in National Robotics Competition

Teams of robot builders from Salem and Corvallis are set to demonstrate their skills and ingenuity on national television while they compete for a $12,000 first prize. Part science, part combat and all fun, this new event takes mechanical competition to a new level. The series will feature high-tech robots from across the country in a multi-level, multi-challenge obstacle course fraught with danger. The seven-part television series titled "ROBOTICA" filmed in Los Angeles March 1st thru 4th and will begin its prime time run April 4th on The Learning Channel.

Mark Joerger lead the Salem based team and operated their 170-pound robot named Run Amok. "We only had seven weeks from the time the rules were released until we had to ship the robot off. I've lost 15 pounds and untold hours of sleep, but I'm proud of the work we've done. Count on us to make a good showing." Mark has experience in a variety of mechanical design contests, but this was his first attempt at a national robotic competition. He built the robot with the help of his 10-year-old son, Aaron.

The Corvallis team is comprised of engineers, musicians, programmers, and their 200-pound entry JuggerBot ( Team leader Mike Morrow notes that although their robot incorporates groundbreaking state-of-the-art electronics, their advantage may be their seamless work as a unit. "Team JuggerBot performed beyond my wildest expectations. The pit work was like clockwork, and our ability to totally tear down our 'Bot in 3 minutes flat completely amazed all bystanders and TLC personnel."

The two Oregon teams will face 22 other teams from across the country. The builders range in age from 14 to 48 and are in occupations as varied as video game designer and magician to toy designer and engineer. They're all regular people with a serious penchant for making indestructible and innovative robotic creations. "I don't want to spoil the suspense by revealing how the competition comes out, but I can tell you that the Oregon teams do very well." says Mark Joerger.

Within each episode, viewers will get to know the contestants and learn how their unique robots were created. ROBOTICA follows the robot builders as they conceptualize and assemble their devilish devices, allowing viewers to understand how each machine will weather the unusual conditions the producers have designed to separate the wimpy from the world class.

The action takes place in a special high-tech TLC arena. In every episode, four contestants face challenges of speed, strength and strategy. Each program will feature multiple robot challenges, including racetrack speed tests, target destruction, and complex mazes with hidden obstacles. The victors from each episode advance to the even more treacherous two-hour final episode, the Battle of the Champions.


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