Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Monday, January 05, 2009

FIRST Robotics Competition is Underway

FIRST Robotics Competition is Underway

FIRST Robotics Competition is Underway
John Dodge, Editor-in-Chief -- Design News, January 5, 2009

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) kicked off over the weekend and
details of this contest, dubbed "Lunacy" to celebrate the 40th
anniversary of landing the first man on the moon, have been set.

Lunacy requires this year's robots, which for the first time have
restrictions on weight and dimensions, to pick up "Orbit" balls
designated as Moon Rocks, Empty Cells and Super Cells. Each is to be
deposited in a trailer hitched to their opponent's robot in the
allotted time, 2 min 15 sec. To add some suspense and last-second
heroics, teams can earn additional points in the last 20 sec of their
match by placing a Super Cell special "orbit" ball in their opponent's

"The Super Cell is almost like a Hail Mary type of pass and is worth
15 points," says Bill Miller, director of FRC, now in its 18th year.
Scoring with a Moon Rock is worth 2 points apiece. FIRST, which
spelled out means "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology" is the umbrella organization founded by engineer and
inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 that sponsors events encouraging,
recognizing and rewarding high school students for engineering

This year's lunar landing theme given that NASA is a FIRST sponsor
includes a low-friction playing field (57 ft x 24 ft) surface and
slippery robot wheels to minimize the advantage veteran teams might
have with drive trains.

"We wanted to simulate moonlike conditions without breaking the bank.
So if you a veteran focused on your drive train, you have to think
again. Everyone goes back to a level playing field," says Miller.

Looks like there is a bit of advertisement for going to the moon here
and a lot of interested students that just may go on to become
- LRK -

Now if I could just learn how to make that Positronic Brain and the
artificial neurons I've been working on.
- LRK -

You can practice with your robotic helper using Lego Mindstorms NXT
powered by NI LabVIEW.

Maybe you know someone that can help me since I seem to be a slow learner.
You can ask David in England and Bob in New Zealand to confirm that.
Dense, I am, just keep reading books and forgetting to write to you all.

Now when you go to the Moon, you may want a little robot helper.
Check out those at the FIRST Robotics Competition.
I am sure some of them will be making those helpers.
- LRK -

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site:
RSS link:
Calling All FIRST Alumni
Dean's homework

FRC 2009

*Control System info
*Lunacy Animation
*Press Release
*Game Description
*Event Schedule

2009 Season Kickoff
took place on
January 3, 2009
10 a.m. EST

NASA Television Viewing Options

# Direct TV Channel 283
# Dish Network Channel 213
# Viewing via commercial satellite instructions
# Via Internet Webcast
# Get Kickoff event information from FIRST




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