AI News, Robo-girls Know the Way to San Jose

Robo-girls Know the Way to San Jose

An unprecedented seven all-girl teams brought their best robots to San Jose State University to compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Silicon Valley Regional match [Click here to read the first story in this series.].

For veteran all-girl teams, however-like the Muses, of The Archer School for Girls, in Los Angeles, and the Fembots, of St. Francis High School, in Sacramento, Calif.—competing at Silicon Valley would follow matches in several other regional events, increasing their chances of making it to the national competition.

With support from the school's principal and a guidance counselor, in 2004 she founded the LionHearts team, recruiting members, finding a faculty mentor, and raising US $30 000 during her three years as president.

At the 2006 Sacramento regional, the Fembots discovered leftover parts from the FIRST kit of robot components and designed their own brand of robo jewelry, sharing the highly coveted necklaces, earrings, and bracelets with other robo-girls.

(A team scores points by placing large inflated rings on a rack, and it can add bonus scores by lifting one of its robots to various specified heights.) The alliance won the second quarter final in a 33-0 shutout, but in a third match, their competitors pulled their robot back into the home zone after scoring only 8 points, and carefully lifted two robots for a 60-point bonus.

With the match settled in the last seconds, and a team member dressed in a velour green Gator costume dancing on the arena floor, the crowd exploded.

In the Gatorbotics' second quarterfinal game, both alliances scored only 4 points, then elevated four robots, and ended the game with a 64-64 tie.

In the final match, both alliances scored 16 points and lifted their robots, but referees judged that one of the Gatorbotics alliance partners did not clear the required 30 centimeters;

All-Girls Robotics Team from Washington State Wins Division Championship

Recently, a team of seven middle school girls from Bellevue, Washington defied typical expectations, winning a Division Championship in robot games against 64 other teams composed primarily of high school students.  After 9 rounds of qualifying matches, Robo Thunder was undefeated, and qualified for the playoffs held in front of an audience of 20,000 people at Houston’s baseball stadium.  They won several elimination matches to make it into the finals, finishing 1st in their division, and 2nd in the World Championship!

The team has advanced through six competitions since November 2016, including the State Championship, the Super-Regional Championship for the 13 western states, and finally the World Championship.  The team participates in the FIRST Tech Challenge program, which has about 5,000 teams from 16 countries around the world.  FIRST is a 28-year old non-profit organization that annually hosts the largest robotics competitions in the world for students from 1st to 12th grades.  The FIRST World Championship for four programs in Houston drew 15,000 students from 33 different countries.

FIRST Robotics Competition

Each year, teams of high school students, coaches, and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds (54 kg).[7] Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, flying discs into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams.

In addition to on-field competition, teams and team members competed for awards recognizing entrepreneurship, creativity, engineering, industrial design, safety, controls, media, quality, and exemplifying the core values of the program.

Kamen has stated that FIRST is the invention he feels most proud of, and predicts that participants will be responsible for significant technological advances in years to come.[10] The first FIRST Robotics Competition season was in 1992 and had one event at a high school gymnasium in New Hampshire.[11] That first competition was relatively small-scale, similar in size to today's FIRST Tech Challenge and Vex Robotics Competition games.

The PBS documentary 'Gearing Up' followed four teams through the 2008 season.[17] In the television series Dean of Invention, Dean Kamen made appeals promoting FIRST prior to commercial breaks.[18] During the 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition season, FIRST team 3132, Thunder Down Under, was followed by a Macquarie University student film crew to document the first year of FIRST Robotics Competition in Australia.

The program placed a special focus on the FIRST Robotics competition, even though it included segments on the FIRST Tech Challenge, FIRST LEGO League, and FIRST LEGO League Jr..[citation needed] For the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, five FIRST Robotics Competition teams and their robots led the parade, with one robot cutting the ribbon and the others shooting confetti.[26][27] In the 2014 movie Transformers: Age of Extinction, a FIRST Robotics Competition Robot built by Team 2468, Team Appreciate, for the 2012 Season was featured in Cade Yeager's garage shooting the foam basketball game pieces from Rebound Rumble.[28] The 2015 Kickoff was, for the first time, broadcast by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast, and was available via OnDemand for the month of January 2015.[29] The fourth season of The Fosters (2013 TV series) had several episodes featuring characters competing in a regional FIRST Robotics Competition competition, most notably episode 8 'Girl Code'.[30]

Girl Power: Student-Made Bots Break Down Gender Barriers in Science and Engineering Competition [Slide Show]

When inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen launched his FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition two decades ago, he hoped to turn engineering into a contact sport and engineering students into superstars.

In particular, the FIRST competitions (there are four in total open to ages six through 18) have attracted a few all-girl teams, despite the fact that adolescent and teenage girls can be a hard-to-reach demographic when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education.

The Fe Maidens (a clever play on the periodic table symbol for iron and the heavy metal band Iron Maiden) from The Bronx High School of Science in New York City have been competing at FRC for the past five years, and in 2010 earned a trip to the finals in Atlanta.

The concept was straightforward—design and build a robot that could pick up inflatable game pieces (triangles, circles and squares each about a meter in the diameter) and hang them on pegs protruding from walls on either side of the 8.2- by 16.4-meter playing floor.

This was a challenge because the robot features a mechanical arm designed to scoop up game pieces and extend so that it can place these pieces on pegs as high as three meters from the floor, she adds.

Teams received an even bigger bonus during each match's final 20 seconds if they could deploy a minibot from their main robot that could climb one of four three-meter poles located toward the center of the floor.

NFPA/ Festo Present Awards to High School Robotics Tournament

For 18 years, the Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association (OCCRA) in the greater Detroit, Michigan area has been facilitating robotics tournaments for local high school students.

The team that made best use of pneumatics used air components in three different design functions, including one that maximized the gripping force of the robot’s trash can holder by using the blind end of the pneumatic cylinder.

Additionally, this was the team’s first experience with fluid power, and the team captain championed that new knowledge to guide her team to a successful design. OCCRA encourages students to use fluid power by allowing robots using pneumatics an extra 5 lbs.

In each of these matches, the teams are randomly paired with an alliance partner who shares the points won. The object of the game is to score the most points by using robots to gather balls and dump them into the trash cans they are carrying.

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