March 8, 2007 2:40 PM Subscribe
The FIRST ("For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology") robotics competition has recently begun it's 2007 competition season. The competition, which began and still enjoys it's greatest popularity in the United States, challenges high-school students and mentors to design and build a (teleoperated) robot to play a game in six weeks. Founded by Dean Kamen, of segway, IBOT, the first home dialysis machine, and clean drinking water fame founded the competition in 1988 to inspire students to enter the engineering profession. Every year a new challenge is put forth, and this year's game involves placing inner-tubes on a cylindrical rack in addition to lifting other team's robots. A sizeable community has sprung up around FIRST, with much attention paid to Dean Kamen's ideal of gracious professionalism which is like sportsmanship without the sports. The 2007 regional competitions provide teams an opportunity to show off their work. If you're interested in getting involved, or just watching the events, FIRST provides a handy Event Locator.
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