2012 FIRST Robotics Competition Season Underway
By user9154807 on Jan 25, 2012
At this very moment, somewhere around the world, some students are staring at a Java stack trace for a robot. They have three more weeks to finish developing their code, even though the robot isn't done, a motor is fried, and the drive team ate all of the snacks while waiting for the bug to get fixed...
This is a likely scenario now that the 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition build season is underway. In a little more than three weeks, competitions will start across North America and in Israel (with teams coming from around the world). This will culminate in the FIRST Championship.
These are fantastic events to see high school students take on a huge challenge - to design, build, and program a robot to do a set of tasks (different each year) in only six week, then compete in alliances against other teams.
If you are interested in engineering, science, and technology, and especially if you have kids that you like to expose to these fields, I recommend that you take a couple hours and watch a competition and visit some teams in the "pits". It's a lot of fun!
For a full list of events, see the official FIRST web site: usfirst.org/whatsgoingon. I'll highlight a few events here (either near Oracle offices or exotic). The best day to see a competition is the last date of the event.
|FIRST Championship||Edward Jones Dome St. Louis, MO||April 26-28|
|BAE Systems Granite State Regional||Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, NH||March 3|
|San Diego Regional||Valley View Casino Center San Diego, CA||March 4
| Israel Regional
Tel Aviv, IS
|| March 7
Harrington Auditorium WPI
|| March 10
| Festival de Robotique FRC a Montreal Regional
|| March 17
| Los Angeles Regional
Long Beach Arena
Long Beach, CA
| New York City Regional
Javits Convention Center
New York, NY
| Hawaii Regional
Stan Sheriff Center
|| March 24
| Boston Regional
| Colorado Regional
Daniel L. Ritchie Center
|Silicon Valley Regional
||San Jose State University San Jose, CA|| March 31
| Mid-Atlantic Robotics FRC Region
|| April 14
FIRST runs three other excellent robotics competition programs:
- First Tech Challenge for ages 14-18
- FIRST Lego League for ages 9-14
- Junior FIRST Lego League for ages 6-9
These programs can be found around the world. Unfortunately Java is not (yet) and option for these robots.
For more of my thoughts on FIRST, Java, and Oracle see It's Not About the Robots.