This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

Photo credit: Russell Monk

Vassar Researcher (and Alumnus) Wins Robot Prize

Congratulations to Joshua de Leeuw ’08, a faculty research associate in Vassar’s Interdisciplinary Robotics Research Laboratory, who has recently garnered national recognition for achievements based on his work in Vassar’s labs.

De Leeuw placed second in Kia Motors and Microsoft’s worldwide RoboChamps Kia Motors Urban Challenge programming competition. The international tournament challenged programmers to create a simulated robot car which could independently drive through a virtual 3-D city. For his winning submission, de Leeuw received a $10,000 cash prize.

In addition, de Leeuw appeared in Predator X, a two-hour documentary about the newly discovered Svalbard pliosaur, which was broadcast on the History Channel in late March. The discovery of this 50-foot marine reptile in August of 2007 sparked research efforts across the globe, some of which took place in Vassar’s very own robotics lab. De Leeuw worked with fellow VC researcher Marianne Porter and biology professor John Long on conducting tests using a four-flippered robot named “Madeleine” to estimate the creature’s physical build and ability.

April 2009

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