Let’s play a word recognition game. When you see the word ROBOT, what is the first image that pops into your head? When I began working with IndianaFIRST, TPF4Y’s current Greenhouse Initiative, my response was a mixture of the above images… minus the one on the far right.
But the most realistic image that could pop into your head just so happens to be that one on the far right – it’s a robot built by high school students on FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Team 292 PantherTech, based out of Russiaville, Indiana.
The more I learned about IndianaFIRST’s goal of growing FIRST programming in Indiana, the more I wanted to learn about these robots that were giving students access to real-world STEM skills. But there’s only so much you can learn from a picture. To really get the full (and exciting!) effect of a game featuring six, 140 pound robots competing against each other, you just have to go to a competition.
As luck would have it, IndianaFIRST is hosting a state championship event for FRC teams on Saturday, May 18th at Perry Meridian High School. The Indiana FIRST Robotics Championship is free and open to the public and the final elimination tournament begins at 1 p.m.
This one-day event will allow students on the top twenty-four FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics teams in Indiana to compete against each other for the title of first-ever Indiana FIRST Robotics Champion. The 2013 challenge is called Ultimate Ascent and allows two alliances of three robots to face off against each other on opposite ends of a 27’ x 54’ field. The objective is to have the robots shoot discs into several “goals” located at either end of the field as well as at the top of each of two metal pyramids located in the middle of the field. At the end of the match, robots can earn additional points for climbing the metal pyramids – the higher they get, the more points they earn.
The Indiana FIRST Robotics Championship is sponsored by TPF4Y as a part of our partnership with IndianaFIRST. This sponsorship and partnership are helping to grow FIRST programs of all levels to underserved areas in the state of Indiana.
For more information on the Indiana FIRST Robotics Championship and to see the schedule of events, please visit the website at www.IndianaFIRST.org/event-information.