The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges each team of high school students and their mentors to build a robot in six weeks and enter the robot in competitions designed by a committee of engineers and other professionals.
Robots take over U of M sports arenas April 1-2
Media Note: Practice rounds on Thursday, March 31 -- 10 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. -- are open to the media. Media may also interview students and mentors working on their robots in the pit areas. Media should check in at the registration table.
Two arenas full of screaming fans and more than 120 high school teams from Minnesota and surrounding states are extending the Minnesota tournament frenzy another week at the Minnesota Regional FIRST Robotics Competitions 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, at the University of Minnesota’s Williams and Mariucci arenas. The championship matches are 1-4:15 p.m. Saturday, April 2, when there will be non-stop robot action.
Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar plan to attend the robotics competition on Friday morning, and U.S. Senator Al Franken is scheduled to attend on Saturday morning.
The event is free and open to the public. In addition, the first 250 people entering each arena on Friday and Saturday mornings will receive free admission tickets to the Science Museum of Minnesota courtesy of the Medtronic Foundation.
The university's College of Science and Engineering is one of the sponsors of the event.
Borrowing a page from the sports playbook, the robotics competition uses the excitement of sports to promote science, technology, engineering and math in a fun and interactive way.
The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition challenges each team of high school students and their mentors to build a robot in six weeks and enter the robot in competitions designed by a committee of engineers and other professionals. The competing robots are usually about three feet by three feet and stand up to five feet tall.
This year’s game, called “LOGO MOTION,” is a game played on a 27-by-54-foot field. Two robot alliances, one red and one blue, composed of three teams each, compete in matches of two minutes and 15 seconds. The object of this year’s game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by hanging as many triangle, circle and square logo pieces as possible. Bonus points will be earned for each robot that can hang and assemble logo pieces to form the FIRST logo. Robots can also deploy mini-bots to climb vertical poles on the field for a chance to earn additional points. Robots are autonomous during the first 15 seconds of play and teleoperated for the remaining two minutes.
A video simulation of this year’s game is available at http://z.umn.edu/firstrobotics11.