Triangle is excited to sponsor the FIRST Robotics Challenge again this year.
Check out our FIRST page here for product info. Triangle donated parts to both the Kit of Parts and the FIRST Choice aspects of the FRC.
The below article discusses Kick-Off and Oshkosh's local Wave Robotics Team.
Bright and early last Saturday morning students, parents and mentors convened at Fox Valley Technical College in Oshkosh to anxiously await the announcement of the FIRST® Robotics Competition's 2013 game. In a darkened room over 100 people associated with the local FIRST® team, Wave Robotics, watched the projector screen for hints of this year's challenge. The FIRST® organization first went over the benefits of involvement: fun, scholarship opportunities and college entrance and then finally announced it, "Ultimate Ascent".
Rumbles emanated from the crowd as scenes of Frisbee-throwing robots and pyramids appeared on screen. "This is gonna be interesting!" exclaimed parents. The students were shown the Ultimate Ascent playing field and received a Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components – with no instructions.
Within minutes of the announcement mentors and students were already buzzing around laptops and in groups talking about alignment and aerodynamics. The game is played by two competing alliances on a flat, 27 x 54 foot field. Each Alliance consists of three robots, and they compete to score as many discs into their goals as they can during a two-minute and fifteen-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the Alliance receives.
The match ends with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs. The Wave team has never built a robot designed to climb or aim and throw Frisbees. Jake Fischer, a mentor who works at Oshkosh Corporation, said he was totally surprised by the challenge. "Throwing a Frisbee has never been attempted in the FIRST® arena. Conceptually and mechanically it will be the most difficult challenge to date." He continued, laughing, "humans routinely struggle with throwing Frisbees well and we have to do it with a robot in only six weeks." Student Ashuinraj Karthikeyan, a junior at Oshkosh North was surprised by the game's complexity and was concerned about having less control with an increased number of variables within the game.
Micheal Lau, a third year Wave Participant from Oshkosh West,said that the biggest challenges Wave faced was the climbing aspect. He said that over the last few years the team has learned a lot, especially to expedite game piece collection, and he hopes to use that experience this year to deal with trying to pick the Frisbees up quickly. There was a lot of nervous excitement during Kick-Off and it was obvious that the students and mentors have a lot of work ahead of them in the next few weeks.
From the FIRST press release: "Working with adult Mentors, students have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once these young inventors create a robot, their teams will participate in 77 Regional competitions with over 2550 other high schools. Competitions measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students." Wave will be competing at the Northern Lights Regional in Duluth, MN and will be returning to the Wisconsin Regional held at the US Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, WI in March where they will be looking to capture a regional win for the third straight year. Winning a regional event will qualify Wave to compete at the World Championships with 400 other high schools in St. Louis, MO at the Edward Jones Dome, home of the St. Louis Rams. Although the Wave team will have to build a complete robot that can climb and throw Frisbees in only six short weeks, Lau wasn't nervous. "Wave is a 'powerhouse team', we're good at game strategy and are constantly evolving", he said with a smile.
Watch the team's Facebook page and www.waverobotics.com for the team's progress throughout the build and competition season. Wave Robotics is possible through the generosity, donations and time of parents, mentors, volunteers and area businesses.
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is the one of four FIRST programs that help students to discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the rewards a career in STEM can bring. Approximately 51,000 high-school students from 16 countries will participate in the 2013 FRC competition.