This weekend is the FRC competition at the Irving convention center – it’s free to watch.
Earlier this year I mentioned that the FIRST Robotics Competition released their contest problem for 2013 and I judged the FRC competition in Lubbock. I’ll see if I can get some pictures today, since this is the only one I took yesterday worth sharing.
I had a chance to talk with the teams from Brazil, Mexico and a number of states across the US yesterday, as well as an HP sponsored team from the Houston area.
Saturday was the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 2013. I’ve participated for the last 5 years, coordinating finding judges for the North Texas competition. This year, the NTX FRC event will take place on March 21st-23rd at the Irving convention center. If you’re in town – be there. It’s free and an exciting show. I’ll probably not have time to do the global competition this year, but will help out with the initial FRC in Lubbock on March 1st-March 2nd.
FRC allows students to start from a standard kit of parts and some state of the art tools, received at the kickoff, and build a robot attempting to meet specified objectives. At the end of the build period, the robots are packed up and they do not see them again until their first competition.
This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Ultimate Ascent:
I’ve found FRC to be an eye opening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and sacrifice that is demonstrated by those participating.
The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how they perform on the field, like:
- Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
- Project planning
- Technical achievement
- Business plan and marketing
The on field performance is not judged, since it has its own rules… Referees determine the winners of that portion of the competition.
You can see some video from previous year’s NTX FIRST competition as well.
A few months back I put out a post about judging the global FIRST robotics competition.
On Sunday August 14th, there will be a TV program "i.am FIRST – Science is Rock and Roll" -- a back-to-school TV special about FIRST, airing on the ABC TV Network at 7PM ET. Some of the material for the show will come from the competition.
FIRST is an organization that sponsors robotics competitions that takes place across the globe, ranging from grade school through high school. The FIRST Robotics Competition is one of the premier robotics competitions for high school age students with a proven record of impact.
Over the weekend I judged the championship competition for FIRST robotics. It took place in St. Louis and was attended by 10s of thousands of people. The following picture is the crowd at just one of the 4 competition fields.
and was webcast by NASA.
There were judges from many backgrounds and skill sets and interacting with them was nearly as rewarding as talking with all the contestants. If they ask me to do it again, I’ll definitely try, if I can.
Now that I've finished moving and judging FIRST, I hope to get back into the regular swing of blogging again.