OT: Judging a FIRST Robotics Competition - Saab General Bulletin Board - Saabnet.com
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I have been aware of FIRST Robotics since our own kids were in High School (the youngest graduated in 2000) but I have never observed a competition. Our local High School is the host school for a Regional Competition this weekend and I volunteered to be a Judge since they needed people and my employer actively encourages volunteerism.
It is absolutely amazing what these 15-18 year old students can conceive, fabricate, and program to master the challenges of each year's competition. CAD work, 3-D Printing, Machine Shop work, innovation, and elaborate computer programs to allow the robot to operate completely autonomously are the words of the day for every team.
One team's Chief Programmer also included sub-routines that continuously monitored power draw and would disable specific lower priority but power hungry tasks when more current was needed elsewhere on the machine. She also included real-time diagnostics to help identify the source of problems when the vehicles was back in the Pits, and she looked to be the youngest person on their team.
My employer offered to pay my regular wages for today if I volunteered 24 hours of my time this weekend for the Regional Competition. My wife was hoping that I would like it enough to do it on a regular basis after retirement next year. I don't think that will be a problem.
There are 3500 teams in the US and over 500 of them are based in Michigan! The 2019 World Championships will be in the Detroit area. The machine automation industry which developed in this region to support the Automakers is obviously still thriving. A not well known fact is that all the off-shore automakers also have Research Centers, and even some test tracks, in S-E Michigan.
Everyone needs to go see one of these competitions, and consider volunteering.
FIRST Robotics 2019 Detroit Championships
->Posting last edited on Fri, 22 Mar 2019 17:43:00.
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