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FIRST Robotics Competition Announced

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the harsh-mistress dept.

Robotics 73

Z80xxc! writes "FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) has officially announced the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition. This competition, started by inventor Dean Kamen, encourages high-school students to design and build robots to compete with and against other FRC teams. The competition overview video is available from NASA. This year's competition is called 'Lunacy.' The game consists of a series of 135-second face-offs during which the student-designed robots must pick up 9-inch game balls and deposit them in trailers hitched to the opposing teams' robots. The game field is coated with regolith, a slick polymer material, and special wheels are used to create a low-traction interaction with the crater's surface. Together, these combine to simulate the one-sixth gravity on the surface of the moon. For any readers who are interested in participating, FRC teams can always use more adult mentors."

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DEKA makes some very useful shit, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317661)

But anybody who owns a Segway should be shot and gutted.

Re:DEKA makes some very useful shit, (1)

Xaemyl (88001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317675)

But, people on Segways are worth 50 points!

Re:DEKA makes some very useful shit, (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318295)

I'm glad I don't have a whole country full of deceitful, greedy kikes stealing all my water and land anywhere near me. Fucking Jews can't just live in peace. They have to steal other people's land. Our national economy is collapsing from the Jewbanks doing their usual Jewthing. You see, with Jews, you lose. That's how THEY win. They WIN by making YOU lose. So let's do the smart thing, shall we? Let's lose the Jew

Re:DEKA makes some very useful shit, (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317993)

ahh the segway. steve jobs pronounced cities would be built around them.

FIRST... (1, Funny)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319127)

The FIRST committee(which stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology") has a sub-committee "Parents Of Scientists / Technologists" that I keep reading about.

Surely you've seen their ads, appearing at the top of every discussion forum. FIRST POST this, FIRST POST that...

Hey..... (-1, Offtopic)

Swordopolis (1159065) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317673)

FIRST post

Re:Hey..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317689)

FAIL

Re:Hey..... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317741)

I for one welcome our capitalized overlords.

Re:Hey..... (2, Interesting)

colfer (619105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318371)

[ah, mis-moderation, clearing]

Re:Hey..... (1)

ZygnuX (1365897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26322487)

How can THAT be interesting? Come on...

Re:Hey..... (1)

colfer (619105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26322801)

Mods are not getting the bitty humor in gp. Like me.

whyiseverythingtaggedstory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317681)

everythingisastory

Re:whyiseverythingtaggedstory (3, Interesting)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317941)

Because journals are not tagged 'story', and /. seems to be moving to a different comment/story management system. Maybe they'll move to comment tagging in the future, or tag other things in addition to stories?

(Perhaps a) Better question... How do these tags work in the first place?

Why can there be a tag I've never seen before and is likely to have a very low probability of having more than one person think of - especially when that tag is not referenced in any comment below TFS?

Re:whyiseverythingtaggedstory (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 5 years ago | (#26321089)

And how come even though I've unchecked tags in the my preferences tags are still displayed?

Working Links? (4, Informative)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317691)

None of the links in the summary work with the www in there...

Re:Working Links? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317965)

usfirst.org (without the www part will work)

Re:Working Links? (1)

nate_in_ME (1281156) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320667)

Their server got killed with everyone trying to download the info on the new game yesterday...it should be back to normal operation shortly...

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317705)

...welcome our new competitive robotic overlords.

There, are you happy?

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318469)

I'm never happy.

Re:I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26323703)

Shut up Zuko.

forgot to add tag... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317725)

"skynet"

No no no. Come here, kid (1, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317759)

Lunar mining? Pffft. Make them fetch us a fscking beer!

Re:No no no. Come here, kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318427)

-1? Come on guys, itsa joke.

FIRST vs. First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317773)

So, is it the First competition or the FIRST??? Geeze, you'd think they'd have seen this confusion coming!

Re:FIRST vs. First (4, Interesting)

deckitbruiseit (1369769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318031)

It gets better: another high school robotics competition is the BEST Competition (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology)

Re:FIRST vs. First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26336053)

I competed in BEST at my high school and am on the FIRST team. We got 1st place in the BEST game, even amid hardware failures and lack of hardware (they did not give us a crucial rubber belt in the kit!) but lost the overall competition because it included stupid things like scrapbook and display, etc.

The FIRST competition looks like a lot of fun. We are trying to figure out the rules right now, though, because the official rule sheets are not very exact when it comes to what can and cannot be done legally...

Hopefully this will turn out well. Anyone near the Jackson, MS area interested in mentoring, contact me at "thorsdecree at gmail dot com"

Re:FIRST vs. First (1)

ShadowMarth (870657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26343405)

No it's not. May be the first time they've done a competition of this caliber though. I volunteered at the regional middle school competition this year, and it's been going for four plus years.

Are all your readers adults? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317807)

I participated in this competition just two years ago. Our robot would've worked a lot better had they left us programmers more than 6 hours to work with it... (darn mechanic guys always taking up more time than they should)

Anyways, it was a blast, anyone who can participate in this really ought to.

Wow... (1)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317829)

They designed a game this year with a focus on driving ability... and they give you no traction.

That should be fun..

Clarification (5, Informative)

WingedGlobe (1394653) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317843)

The game has a moon theme. The playing field is being called a crater due to its shape. "Regolith" should have been in quotations, as the hard polymer sheeting is being used for a visual representation only. There are no rocks and dust and other fun things. The whole point was to create a slippery surface that's hard to drive on.

more mayhem (1)

4d3fect (1023141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317903)

looks like there might be much more mayhem than last year's competition.

Re:more mayhem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318171)

Last year's competition was boring by FIRST's standards.
A track and throwing balls? Seriously?

US First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317911)

I have difficulty in taking an organisation called "US First" seriously, since in my country "Australia First" [wikipedia.org] refers to a nut job wannabe KKK political party.

Re:US First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26317969)

While this may come as a shock to you, I could not care less about your feelings for every organization with the word "First" in its name.

Re:US First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318643)

While this may come as a shock to you, I could not care less about your feelings for any comment about someone's feelings for every organization with the word "First" in its name.

Re:US First? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318933)

The problem isn't the word "first". It is the combination "{insert your country here} first", which is a nationalist phrase.

Re:US First? (1)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26324809)

Dean Kamen's original vision was to promote technology careers in the United States. As FIRST has grown they have added teams from Canada, England, Brazil and Israel. Since then FIRST has toned down the nationalist agenda. For instance, they renamed the final competition from "Nationals" to "Championship." The domain name usfirst.org is a relic from the past.

FIRST ideas? (1)

Alata_Mors (1430699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317987)

I'm with one of the FIRST teams, and we are all looking forward to doing this competition, but given the environment it is hard to come up with a good strategy for success, any ideas? as a note the field coating is not actually regolith, it is just reference being used for the game.

Re:FIRST ideas? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318011)

You probably already know but just in case: the Chief Delphi forums are a great place to discuss and anticipate the game. That being said, this years game has many unique challenges and I wish your team the best of luck.

Greetz from 675

Practice Fields? (1)

concernedadmin (1054160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26317997)

The game field is coated with regolith, a slick polymer material, and special wheels are used to create a low-traction interaction with the crater's surface.

The article summary references regolith. Wikipedia defines regolith as:

[...] is a layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock. It includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials [...]

I remember the days when I was a member of a FIRST robotics team and we prepared for competitions by building practice fields to test out our robot and help prepare our human players. The fields we constructed were of fairly stable objects like PVC tetrahedrons and fairly large kickballs that made it easy to simulate actual conditions in a real tournament. How are teams supposed to simulate actual conditions if the terrain is so unstable and chaotic?

Re:Practice Fields? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318039)

As mentioned some other places and on the First Site, the regolith is merely a representation. The actual material is Glasliner FRP and in conjunction with the rule that all robots use the wheels from the kit of parts the goal it to have an extremely low friction game much like if it was on a lunar surface. Hope that clears it up a bit.

Re:Practice Fields? (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318333)

How are teams supposed to simulate actual conditions if the terrain is so unstable and chaotic?

For low friction: Tape down plastic table cloths and coat with oil? Or practice on a lawn after it's been washed? I'm sure the teammates can come up with some way to make a slippery field.
I can see urban schools having a disadvantage, but they'll make do. My team also built the PVC tetrahedrons, but we had to limit all our practice to the some what narrow hall ways, so our biggest challenge was often just avoiding crashing the bot into a)students b)lockers.

Re:Practice Fields? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319619)

See RC (radio control cars) drifting videos. Some RC car drivers have become very skilled at controlling cars on low friction surfaces...

Chaos (1)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318005)

So you have about a minute of autonomous robots chasing each others rears while kids lob 9 inch balls at them, followed by a minute of robots being controlled remotely by Counter Strike geeks. And it's slippery.

Re:Chaos (1)

lostguru (987112) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318027)

nah most of our guys play newer games than counterstrike, and the autonomous period is only 15 seconds, dunno how anybody is gonna do much of anything other than slip during auto this year.


MVRT 115!

Re:Chaos (1)

oljanx (1318801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318121)

Wow 15 seconds is not much time, especially in an arena of that size. I'd be surprised if one of the bots could simply navigate the length of the arena during that period, dodging other bots along way.

FIRST robotics competition? (4, Funny)

callinyouin (1138469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318037)

I call bullshit on this one. I'm pretty sure there have been robotics competitions before. Pretty sure as in around 99%.




Sorry.

Re:FIRST robotics competition? (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318077)

FIRST is just an acronymn. The competition has been going on for years (my old high school is team 007), and kicks off at Capitol College every January (horray kicking off at my school!).

Re:FIRST robotics competition? (1)

mkaushik (1431203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318403)

whoosh?

Re:FIRST robotics competition? (1)

eggnoglatte (1047660) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318431)

Well, it is the "2009 FIRST Robotics Competition", and it may well be the first one this year ;-)

Re:FIRST robotics competition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26321035)

Dude, that's the funniest thing I've read all day.

Re:FIRST robotics competition? (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26322123)

Ah, you just wanted an excuse for a FIRST post message, didn't you?

The box is locked the lights are on... (1)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318141)

This sounds like Battlebots...except with the fighting...or fun.

They need to build robots that spin and lift etc. and duel them out.

Re:The box is locked the lights are on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318857)

You might want to read up a little more. FIRST is all about achievement through cooperation and collaboration. For example, it is common practice, and in fact, encouraged for the teams to share all knowledge, strategy, and even build plans during this build phase every year. In the end it's not about who has the best working or designed machine. It's about what teams are best at working with others. Btw your comment regarding lifting is absurd, did you even bother to read anything about the previous competitions or how its completely different every single year? One of the last competitions involved lifting your partners robot, that doesn't even count the lifting of the goals in 2001.

Re:The box is locked the lights are on... (1)

Halborr (1373599) | more than 5 years ago | (#26325539)

In other words... gracious professionalism.

Re:The box is locked the lights are on... (1)

mwarps (2650) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328909)

You got that right.

Howdy from 501 (nee 121, 146 alum)

gWn4a (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318145)

up today! If you you need to suucee3 Significantly THINKING ABOUT IT. project returns These early in the sun. In the

Robots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318223)

I can deposit my balls in someone's trailer without the aid of robots. I do like the idea of a slick surface though.

I think I need an adult mentor...

Yup (1)

obnauticus (1166995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26318325)

I am competing in team 2811. It's slightly interesting, other than the fact that 98% of the other people are both mentally and socially retarded.

Re:Yup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318777)

Hint from a non-rookie team: Look up gracious professionalism.

Hint 2: Judges read everything, and you represent your team.

Re:Yup (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319623)

Note to original poster: I *AM* a judge this year.
I'm currently drunk and reading slashdot

Re:Yup (1)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333099)

Team 1087 didn't believe in that gracious garbage, we attacked mascots at the competitions and were loud obnoxious jerks.

It's a game, just have fun.

Re:Yup (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318821)

I was on a team for 6 years both as a student and a mentor. You my friend are most obviously the one suffering from said ailments. If you have a problem with your particular team, the're are many others around. I suggest however you learn how to help your team and take everything you can from the program. If you choose otherwise, might I suggest practicing your burger flipping skills, as you will most likely need it with your pessimistic attitude. Btw that program made my life, I currently earn over 100,000 and love my life and job.

Re:Yup (1)

obnauticus (1166995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330647)

I didn't call all smart people socially retarded, because I know a lot aren't. Why does almost every reply ASSUME I'm referring to `geeks`? I would call that exclusive behavior....in the completely wrong direction if you want to ever have friends.

Re:Yup (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319223)

I am competing in team 2811. It's slightly interesting, other than the fact that 98% of the other people are both mentally and socially retarded.

Whereas you are only socially retarded?

Re:Yup (1)

emj (15659) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330137)

Pretty large teams if there are at least 50 people in them.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319747)

It's slightly interesting, other than the fact that 98% of the other people are both mentally and socially retarded.

This is excellent preparation for both college, and a career in robotics.

Re:Yup (1)

ThatTallGuy (520811) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320163)

I suggest you be nice to those other 98%. When you get older, geeks rule the world -- and people who dismiss intelligence as unimportant pump the geeks' gas.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320773)

socially awkward, maybe, but I've only met one FIRST-er who was aspergers, and none "retarded"

Great looking competition. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318541)

Having done FIRST for a couple years, I have to say this looks like one of the more interesting competitions in recent years. Too bad I'm not in high school anymore (haha not really)

mod doAwn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26318725)

I'm doing that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26325141)

I'm doing this competition, and let me tell you, it's a lot of work. And we only have 6 weeks to work on it. Our robotics team just got finished with the BEST competition, winning first place overall in The South's Best. Hopefully we'll have the same sort of success here.

On a Serious note... (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330211)

On a serious note...this competition is very cool, and I believe no true Slashdotter would disagree.

I have been taking my kids (now 2,4 and 6) to the Granite State (New Hampshire) Regional since they were born, and they love it!

I told my 4-year old son that the video was going to be released over the weekend, and he hounded me for days about it! After I downloaded it, he watched it 20 times!

If you haven't been to one you probably wouldn't believe it - but it is truly a spectacle - and interesting for the 1-year-olds as it is for the 38-year-olds! (My 1-year old daughter [last year] was literally on the edge of her seat [my lap] fascinated with the game-play!).

As much of a "theatrical" even as it is - you're not just sitting in one place the whole time. You are free to enter and roam the "pits" where the teams work on and test their robots, etc.

I highly recommend all to check out your regional finals, around late February, and early March!

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