The 2010 FIRST Tech Challenge

FIRST News Release
 

Dean Kamen Encourages More Than 15,000 High School-Age Students to "GET OVER IT!T" in the 2010 FIRST® Tech Challenge
 

Student robotics program introduces advanced, new communications module designed to handle the most difficult field robotics challenges

MANCHESTER, N.H., Sept. 11, 2010 - FIRST® (ForInspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization foundedby inventor Dean Kamen  to inspire young people’s interest and participation inscience and technology, officially launched its 2010 FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC®)season with an online Kickoff event unveiling this year’s game, GET OVER IT!T
 
The FIRSTTech Challenge is an intermediate robotics competition, designed for 14 to 18year-old high-school students, where teams of up to 10 students working alongsidementors, apply real-world math and science concepts to solve an annualchallenge. Students compete and cooperate in team alliances at sport-type tournamentsthat are ultimately helping to create the next generation of technologyleaders. Through their involvement with FIRST,students discover the rewards of collaboration, develop a deeper understandingof innovation and engineering, and learn the importance of GraciousProfessionalism.T

"All of the technology incorporated into this year’s FIRSTTech Challenge game carries with it the potential to improve and solve many oftomorrow’s toughest problems today," said Dean Kamen, FIRST founder and CEO of DEKA Research & Development. "We deviseda game where the robots must face an unstable surface environment in order toreach their objective and locate enhanced targets to increase their scoring.The game typifies the kind of real-world approach that our students may becalled upon to utilize," he added.

More than 15,000high-school-aged students are expected to participate in this year’scompetition, in which the object of the game will be to score more points thanyour opponent alliance by emptying baton dispensers filled with 6-inch long PVCtubes and scoring them in stationary and rolling goals.

According to FIRSTpresident Jon Dudas, "FIRST Tech Challenge involves all of the samehurdles facing world-class innovators. It encompasses the same types of designand engineering decisions engineers are applying to save lives, improve thequality of life, and protect the environment."

Researchhas shown that the FIRST Tech Challenge effectively engages studentsfrom diverse backgrounds, instilling new ideas and concepts in more experiencedstudents, while helping to inspire, motivate, and encourage learning basicprinciples and skills among students with less experience. Through their FIRST involvement,students also learn about important, life-long skills such as planning,research, collaboration, mentorship, and teamwork. FTC participants areeligible to apply for more than $7 million dollars in scholarship funds fromsome of the finest science and engineering schools in the country.

"Neverbefore has it been more important to get students excited about science andtechnology," said Ken Johnson, Director of FIRSTTech Challenge. "The challenges we face today will be solved withtechnology. We need more people working on those solutions, now."

Game Description

Using a combination ofsensors, including infrared tracking (IR), line following, magnet seeking, ultrasonic,touch, and more, students will program their robots to operate in bothautonomous and tele-operated modes over a raised center goal. GET OVER IT! matches will last twominutes and 40 seconds, and will begin with a 40-second autonomous periodfollowed by a two-minute tele-operated period. The final 30 seconds of thetele-operated period is the "end game" where teams can only make contact withtheir own bridge and will try to get their robots and goal on top of thebridges to get balance points. 

The 2010 FTC competition kitis a complete robotics platform designed to provide students with the sameresources used by engineers and scientists. It consists of an expanded TETRIXT Education Base Set, LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT EducationBase Set, DC drive motors, servomotors, controllers, and advanced sensors. Italso includes three software platforms which FTC teams can use to program theirrobots, including LabVIEW EducationEdition, ROBOTC for FTC, andPTC’s Pro/ENGINEER 3D CAD/CAM design software.

GET OVER IT!T wasdeveloped with the input of professional robotics designers, engineers, andsensor experts from across the country. Thanks to Cisco Systems and the KaufmanFoundation, each FTC team will receive a Samantha module, an innovative, newWiFi robotic interface which allows teams to communicate more reliably withtheir robots and provides a Field Control System (FCS) that operates in bothautonomous and tele-operated modes.

SeasonOverview

Duringthe 2010 season, an estimated 1,500 FIRST Tech Challenge teams willcompete in events in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands, culminating atthe FIRST Championship, April 27-30, 2011, at the Edward Jones Dome inSt. Louis, Mo. FTC has also launched a pilot program in India.

The 2010 FIRST TechChallenge sponsors include:

  • Official Program Sponsor for the FIRST Tech Challenge, Rockwell Collins;
  • FTCCAD and Collaboration Sponsor, PTC®; and
  • FTCProgram Sponsor, General Dynamics Advanced InformationSystems (GDAIS).

AboutFIRST®

Accomplishedinventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST® (For Inspiration andRecognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation ofscience and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designsaccessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and lifeskills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science,technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, thenot-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® RoboticsCompetition (FRC® ) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO®League (FLL® ) for 9 to 14-year-olds, (9 to 16-year-olds outside theU.S. and Canada) and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League(Jr.FLLT) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismT is a wayof doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value ofothers, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST,go to www.usfirst.org.
 

FIRST®, the FIRST® logo, FIRST® RoboticsCompetition, FRC®, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FTC®are registered trademarks, and , Gracious ProfessionalismT,  Hot ShotT, and GET OVER IT!T arecommon law trademarks, of the United States Foundation for Inspiration andRecognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®). LEGO®and MINDSTORMS® are registered trademarks of The LEGO Group. FIRST®LEGO® League, Junior FIRST® LEGO®League, FLL®, Jr.FLLT, and BODY FORWARDT are jointly held trademarksof FIRST and The LEGO Group. All other trademarks are the property oftheir respective owners.

©2010 FIRST.All rights reserved. 

Media Contact:
Dennis Garrigan 
603-206-2454