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Robotics expert James McLurkin, seen on PBS’s Nova program, spoke to a  to Hatboro-Horsham School district students, faculty and community members on March 6, 2009 at Keith Valley Middle School which included an interactive presentation, including robot demonstration. James McLurkin’s visit was sponsored by the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation.

James McLurkin, considered one of the world’s leading designers of robot “swarms” – groups of robots that work together for a greater purpose, is a research associate at the University of Washington. His research focuses on distributed algorithms for multi-robot systems. Previous positions include lead research scientist at iRobot corporation, where he managed the DARPA-funded Swarm project. He is the 2003 recipient of the Lemelson-MIT student prize for invention.

McLurkin’s presentations and the reception with high school robotics team were sponsored by the Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation, which also provided a grant to fund an elementary school Robotics Club in the district. It also supports the Hatboro-Horsham Robotics Team. The 20-year-old, nonprofit organization provides innovative learning grants to district teachers and staff for projects in the schools, and cultural events and enrichment programs for district students and the community.

McLurkin speaks to Keith Valley Middle School 7th and 8th graders and
members of the Hatboro-Horsham Robotics Club, Team 708, and “Hardwired Fusion”


KVMS 7th and 8th graders watching the swarm in motion


Members of the HHHS Robotics club,  Team 708, “Hardwired Fusion”,  accept a challenge from James Mclurkin as they join him onstage to solve a distributed algorithm   problem.  The students, left to right, Angela Hu, 17, Horsham,  Corey Wright, 18, Horsham,  Zach McCurdy, 15, Horsham,  Billy Austin, 18, Horsham, Molly Byrne, 17, Horsham,  Scott Burger, 18, Horsham, Felix Kamfer, 16, Horsham, Alexis Wache, 15, Ambler