Friday, March 21, 2008

FIRST Robotics Competition Today and Tomorrow



It is funny to me how you can often enter the convention center here and all seems still. As a veteran of many technology conferences and the wonder that was COMDEX (which is no longer produced, see InterOp) I always loved the excitement and activity that would spill into the streets in San Jose at San Jose McEnery Convention Center or the buzz at an Apple Developers conference or Moscone Center in San Francisco.

I am not making any comparisons here, because the scale just doesn't match. But if you want to treat yourself to a sense of excitement over technology and what fun can be had with it, step over to the Tacoma Convention Center today or tomorrow and check out the goings on at the FIRST Robotics Competition.

There is an actual buzz in the air. Sure, not thousands of people, just several hundreds high school students, their mentors, pit crew and their robots. These robots are pretty good sized too, about akin to a Costco shopping cart if it had attachments that extended, grasped, picked up and moved around objects in an obstacle course.

They line the bleachers around the caged area the course resides in, which is about the size of an EWF cage match cage. But don't think this is a destructive robot wars event. These remote controlled creation and working cooperatively to complete a randomized task faster than their opponent.

Go cheer on the locals and welcome the visitors when you get the chance. Just remember to wear your safety goggles when you are walking around the pit area.

Friday, March 21, 2008

8:00AM Pits and Machine Shop open
9:00AM Opening ceremonies
9:30AM-4:00PM Seeding matches
12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch
4:15PM Awards ceremony
6:00PM Pits and Machine Shop close

Saturday, March 22, 2008

8:00AM Pits and machine shop open
9:00AM Opening ceremonies
10:00AM-11:15AM Seeding matches
11:30AM-11:45PM Alliance Selections
12:00PM-1:00PM Lunch
1:00PM-4:15PM Final rounds
4:30PM Awards ceremony
5:00PM Pits and Machine Shop close, crates packed for shipping

3 comments:

kevinfreitas said...

Is the event free to watch or is there an admission cost?

Andrew Fry said...

It is free admission and open to the public. Though the concession stand prices were a bit high.

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