2013 FIRST Competition to Feature Teams of Climbing Robots

Geek Culture

Dean Kamen, creator of the FIRST Robotics Competition, kicked off the 2013 season Saturday via a live NASA-TV broadcast and webcast that went out to nearly 51,000 high school students worldwide.

According to the press release from FIRST, this year contestants will be challenged to build robots that can scale the rungs of a metal tower. Their assignment will be to fling flying discs at goals of varying value. Teams will be buddying up in groups of three, which means that the robots can work in unison and focus on specific tasks. The video simulation above shows some of the possible configurations.

Having teams join up in alliances is part of FIRST’s goal to instill the idea of Gracious Professionalism in its participants. “FIRST isn’t about competing, it’s about cooperating, and recognizing that if you have the right tools, you’ll be able to make this world a better place for yourself and for the country,” Kamen said in the statement. “There is no stimulus package that will have as much return as stimulating a bunch of kids to become the workforce of the future, the problem solvers, the creators of the future.”

You can watch all the videos describing this year’s competition — including a talk by Kamen, inventor of the Segway, the insulin pump, robotic arm prototypes for Darpa and other devices too numerous to mention, on how his interest in engineering was born — at the FRC YouTube channel.

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