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SpelBots Robotics Team

SpelBots, founded in 2004 by Andrew Williams, Ph.D., is Spelman College’s robotics team whose goal is to encourage students and young women of African descent to explore robotics and computer science. The team is currently led Jakita Thomas, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer and information sciences, and is funded by the National Science Foundation, Boeing, and General Motors.

SpelBots made history in 2005 as the first all-female, all African-American, undergraduate team to qualify and compete in the International RoboCup four-legged robot soccer competition. In another history-making moment, the Spelbots tied for first place in the RoboCup Japan 2009 Standard Platform League Nao League humanoid soccer championship. The SpelBots also visited Washington, D.C., to attend an Education Technology Showcase to demonstrate their robots to U.S. senators and the director of the National Science Foundation. Spelman was one of 21 schools, and the only historically Black college or university selected to showcase their technology.

SpelBots photo caption: From left to right: Dearia Little, Rachelle Minor, Daria Jordan, Micaela Hunter, Simone Smarr,  Jazette Johnson, Aisha Jackson and Fallon Clark