Georgia youth bowler has winning name for USBC's new robot

ARLINGTON, Texas - When Melissa C. Stewart of Roswell, Ga., submitted her entry for the United States Bowling Congress' Name That Robot contest, she noted that her inspiration came from the Hall of Fame bowler nicknamed The Machine.

The contest was held to find a name for the new ball-throwing robot ordered by USBC Technical Director Steve Kloempken. The new robot will help conduct experiments at the new International Training and Research Center in Arlington.

Stewart's winning submission of E.A.R.L. (Enhanced Automated Robotic Launcher) was selected by the USBC research team from hundreds of entries. She figured if Earl Anthony's nickname was "The Machine" then it was only "fitting to name the new ball-throwing robot for a bowler with machine-like characteristics."

For submitting the winning entry, Stewart, 16, will receive a three-day, two-night trip to Arlington, where she will receive a guided tour of the new ITRC from Kloempken and the chance to bowl against E.A.R.L. She also will receive bowling tips from some of USBC's top bowlers such as Shannon O'Keefe and Derek Eoff.

"While I am pleased to be named the winner of this contest, the true honoree is Earl Anthony, whose remarkable talents and achievements in the sport of bowling inspired my entry," Stewart said. "Hopefully, E.A.R.L. the robot will serve as a mechanical legacy to the memory of Earl Anthony and make future contributions to bowling that will honor his namesake."

E.A.R.L. will replace the legendary Harry the Robot, the USBC ball-throwing robot that is retiring after 10 years. Harry threw thousands of shots during his career and was especially instrumental in USBC's Ball Motion Study (, which helped the technical team gain knowledge on ball motion and bowling ball performance.

"E.A.R.L. has some big shoes to fill," Kloempken said. "But it is great that as we move into our new facility we are able to recognize one of the greatest bowlers of all time. E.A.R.L. will be an integral part of the USBC technical team for many years to come.