Do you fancy some robot on robot action?

Well Prof is here to share with you something that he is involved with, called FIRST Robotics. FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a nerds sport of sorts, where 6 robots all play a game on a field, this year its Ultimate Frisbee! The game changes annually and teams only have six weeks to design and build their robot… Instead of my boring explanation, here is a more interesting and official one!

Imagine combining the action of a major sporting event such as football and the rhythm of a rock and roll concert, but with a mechanical engineering twist. The FIRST Robotics Competition provides an educational and engineering environment for students to learn skills that aid in future job placement. It couples international teams made of students and professional engineers to overcome design and functionality obstacles. FIRST’s competition brings out the competitiveness of life with the fun of learning.

This years game, ULTIMATE ASCENT is played by two competing alliances on a flat, 27 x 54 foot field. Each Alliance consists of three robots, and they compete to score as many discs into their goals as they can during a two (2)-minute and fifteen (15)-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the Alliance receives.

The match begins with a fifteen (15)-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs. Discs scored during this period are worth additional points. For the remainder of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their alliance score by scoring as many goals as possible.

The match ends with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs.

Since text can only tell you so much, and if you’re like Tom, you prefer visual. So here’s a video!

Now, you may be asking why is Prof telling you about one of his favorite hobbies. Well, he is currently at one of these robotics competitions in his home town. He has setup a webcast of the action. This webcast will be live starting Friday March 8th, around 9AM (PST) and again on Saturday. Here is the URL to the webcast:

Feel free to share this with whoever you want! Its going to be fun!