Panna Felsen

 

The First Human Opponent in the Human/EAP Arwrestling Constest

 

Panna Felsen is currently a student at Caltech and she is going to participate the SPIE’s EAP-in-Action Session this year, where her capability will be measured to serve as a baseline for future contests.  In 2005, she was the human opponent who wrestled with the three robotic arms that participated in the first human/EAP robotic arm wrestling contest.  She won against wrestling the three arms but helped making this event a historic one. Panna is a hardworking student who mixes both education priorities and extracurricular activity ranging from recreation sports to robotics.

In 2005,  she  was a student at the La Costa Canyon High School of the San Diego School District and is now a student at Caltech.  Panna took as many as six AP courses in a school year––and earned all A’s in course work that included advanced calculus and physics.  In her junior year, she founded an engineering club at her school for which her robotics knowledge helped the team win KISS Institute’s National Research and Design Challenge.  She also taught the members IC programming and led the design team that built and programmed autonomous robots for which her Botball team earned second place at Southern California Regionals.  During the summer, 2004, she was selected as a NASA Sharp Apprentice to do paid research at the University of Michigan.  Ultimately, she plans to enter the engineering field.

She lived in Encinitas, California, which was located north of San Diego, where she enjoyed shooting hoops at the YMCA and occasional walked to the beach from her home.  What was once training ground during her eight-year competitive swimming regimen, the beach became a place where she went only for recreation to ride her boogie board and to build extreme sand castles––when she allowed herself the free time.  Panna’s interests began to change from athletics to academics when she was introduced to Botball robotics in middle school.                                 

Panna served as the only student member of the San Diego Science Alliance Robotics Steering Committee, the group that first introduced her to robotics.  She was also organizer of her school’s participation in Science Olympiad, and on weekends, she worked as a ballroom dance junior instructor for the San Dieguito Cotillion.



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