The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

FIRST Robotics Competition game for 2015 announced

Saturday was the kickoff for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for 2015. I’ve participated for the last 7 years, locating judges for the North Texas competition. This year, the Dallas FRC event will take place on February 25th – 28th at the Irving convention center. If you’re in town – be there. It’s a free and an exciting show.

 

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 that attempts to meet specified objectives. At the end of the build period, the robots are packed up and the students do not see them again until the competition.

 

This video is an overview of this year’s challenge – Recycle Rush

 

 

I’ve found FRC to be an exciting and enlightening experience for the students and the volunteers. Every year I am surprised at the ingenuity and commitment demonstrated by those participating.

 

The main competition is judged by numerous factors beyond how the robots perform on the field, like:

  • Coopertition (helping others that you are competing against)
  • Project planning
  • Quality/safety
  • 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.

 

The goal of FIRST is to encourage the understanding and passion around STEM. It has a proven track record of results that is hard to argue with.

 

You can see some video from previous year’s Dallas FIRST competition, if you are interested.

Research using glass for 3D printing

3Dglass.pngHP labs researchers have been doing some interesting work working Glass as a medium for 3D printing. Although not quite the same as having a print and your done method like plastic, it does have a number of advantages. The article has some good examples of the variables and capabilities of the current research.

 

The article also included a good, short summary of why 3D printing is of such interest:

“Traditional assembly line manufacturing is speculative, costly and environmentally unsustainable. It is speculative because it commits substantial resources-energy, materials, shipping, handling, stocking and displaying-without a guaranteed sale. It is costly because each of these resources-material, process, people and place-involves expense not encountered when a product is manufactured at the time of sale. It is environmentally unsustainable because, no matter how much recycling is done, not using the resources unless actually needed is always a better path. Three-dimensional printing is currently of great commercial interest as it can be employed to manufacture parts on-demand economically and without the significant cost & environmental downsides, i.e. inventory and waste, associated with traditional manufacturing processes."

HP's Sustainable Data Centers

Here's a look inside several of HP's high efficiency data centers.

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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