We have several family friends who are involved in FIRST robotics– either as students, parents or coaches. When the Purdue Regional was held a couple of weeks ago, it was close enough that it was the perfect opportunity to go by and catch a little of the action.
This year’s competition involved the FIRST robots being able to pick up and place giant inflated shapes onto target pegs on a wall. The program is an awesome one, with students actively involved in designing, building and maintaining the robots throughout the competitions.
The teams are given the challenge in January, then have exactly six weeks to design a solution, build and program the robot and get it in a box and shipped off to FIRST central. The teams do not see their robot again until the competitions. there is a large pit area at the competitions ( which generally run Thurs-Sat) where the teams can fine tune or repair their robots between matches.
By the time of the finals, only a few teams are still competing, but all the teams stay to watch. The stands are filled with high spirited groups overflowing with team spirit, choosing sides- Blue or Red as groups of three teams are brought together to compete against each other.
If you have a FIRST event near you, or you get the chance to hop over to St Louis for the National Competition in early May, this is a great Geek Family Outing.
Click through to see the complete set of pictures shot at the event.
Video of the Final Championship Match: