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News

Finishing touches on a remote-controlled, sporting robot

Georgia Institute Of Technology : 20 February, 2002  (New Product)
Students from Roswell High School and Georgia Tech engineering students this week put the finishing touches on a remote-controlled, sporting robot they built that slam-dunks soccer balls. The robot will compete with other robots built by students from around the world in upcoming regional and national competitions to be held in Florida during the 2002 FIRST Robotics Competition.
Students from Roswell High School and Georgia Tech engineering students this week put the finishing touches on a remote-controlled, sporting robot they built that slam-dunks soccer balls.

The robot will compete with other robots built by students from around the world in upcoming regional and national competitions to be held in Florida during the 2002 FIRST Robotics Competition.

The Georgia Tech/Roswell High School team is the only team from Georgia competing in the games. The students designed and built the robot in six weeks.

The upcoming competitions are sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a non-profit organization devoted to increasing interest in science and technology among youth. In this competition, 9th - 12th graders pair up with college engineering students or engineering companies to design and build a robot to compete in regional and national games.

The competitions are high-tech sporting events, the result of months of focused brainstorming, teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines and deadlines.

Simply put, the robots are built to somehow pick up soccer balls and place them into a hoop, which is the goal. Some robots scoop up the ball, some suck it up with a vacuum device, and others pick the ball up using a gripping mechanism. Teams of two robots work together against another team of two in two-minute matches. The goal is to score as many points as possible by shooting the balls into a hoop. The team with the highest score wins the match. Team then are ranked based on their qualifying points to determine who will go on to the finals.

The Georgia Tech/Roswell High School team's robot will compete among nearly 50 teams in the southeast regional event at Kennedy Space Center in Fla. on March 7-9. The robot then will go to the championship event at Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla. on April 25-27.

In January, FIRST sent entrants a manual defining the rules for constructing a robot and the games. Teams then had six weeks to design, build, test and debug their robots. Engineering students from the RoboJackets Robotics Club at Georgia Tech acted as mentors throughout the project.

The competition will reach more than 20,000 students on over 600 teams in 17 regional competitions. The teams come from Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, and almost every state in the United States.

This past year, Georgia Tech students worked with students from Georgia Washington Carver High School to build a sporting robot, which they named 'The Prowler.' The robot placed in the top half of its division during the national competition and won a Judge's Award at a regional competition that recognized the tenacity of the Georgia Tech students, most of them participated in FIRST competitions as high school students.
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