Inventor and FIRST®
Kamen launched the 2014 FIRST®
Robotics Competition (FRC®) season today with the
Kickoff of a new robotics game called AERIAL
ASSISTSM before a crowd of 400 people at Southern New
Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H., hometown of FIRST
Headquarters. Nearly 70,000 high-school students on more than 2,700
teams in 92 cities around the globe joined the 2014
Kickoff via live NASA-TV broadcast and webcast.
Students take measurements of the playing field following the reveal of the 2014 FIRST® Robotics Competition AERIAL ASSIST game. (Photo: Business Wire)
"The students who participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition
are not only building robots; they are building character, self-respect,
and relationships with their peers," said Dean Kamen, president of DEKA
Research & Development and FIRST Founder, adding, "Winning
the game is fun, but the importance of FIRST is that you'll get
much more out of it than you put in, and it's going to change the rest
of your life."
The 2014 game, AERIAL
ASSIST, is played by two Alliances of three teams each. Alliances
compete by trying to score as many balls in goals as possible during a
two-minute and 30-second match. Additional points are earned by robots
working together to score goals, and by throwing and catching balls over
a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor as they move the
ball down the field.
"The FIRST Robotics Competition develops 21st century
thinkers, 21st century workers, and people who will be able
to lead in the innovation economy," remarked Maggie Hassan, New
Hampshire Governor, before directly addressing the student participants
in the audience at Southern New Hampshire University. "We know that our
competitiveness as a state, and as a country in this global economy is
going to depend on how well you all can develop as the future
problem-solvers we need, and the skills you learn in tis competition
are critical to our success moving forward."
At today's Kickoff, FRC teams were shown the AERIAL ASSIST playing field
and received a Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control
system, a PC, and a mix of automation components - and only limited
instructions. 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 build a robot, their
teams will participate in one or more of the 98 Regional and District
competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of
collaboration, and the determination of students.
"I love FIRST. It's about much more than cultivating your
interests in science, technology, engineering, and math," said Senator
for New Hampshire Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). "It's also about developing
important skills in leadership and teamwork. We need to make sure we
have programs like FIRST in every school district to ensure a
bright future for each student, as well as for America."
Sponsored by NASA and Needham, Mass.-based PTC, the 2014 FIRST
Robotics Competition Kickoff event is an opportunity for teams from all
over the world to come together as a community to share in the
excitement of seeing the new game unveiled. Teams at local Kickoffs in
Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Mexico, and the U.S. watched the
proceedings via NASA-TV and were offered workshops and a chance to meet
"Through FIRST, you're engaged in a neck-and-neck technology race
with us professionals," said Jim Heppelmann, President and Chief
Executive Officer of PTC. "Think of what that experience means; the jobs
you can get, the careers you can develop, the problems you'll solve, the
money you'll make, and the fun you're going to have. What a special
program and special opportunity FIRST is. The 6,000 employees of
PTC are proud to sponsor this event and proud to be a Strategic Partner
"This is more than a game. This experience highlights what you will do
in your careers," said John M. Grunsfeld, Associate Administrator for
the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "Experience in
this competition is similar in many ways to how we design, build, and
test NASA robots."
To find FIRST Robotics Competition events and/or teams in your
area, visit http://www.usfirst.org/whats-going-on.
Accomplished inventor Dean
Kamen founded FIRST®
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989
to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people.
Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative
programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while
motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology,
and engineering. With support from over 200 of the Fortune 500 companies
and more than $18 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit
organization hosts the FIRST®
Robotics Competition (FRC® ) for
students in Grades 9-12; FIRST®
Tech Challenge (FTC® ) for Grades
LEGO® League (FLL®
) for Grades 4-8; and Junior
League (Jr.FLL®) for Grades K-3. Gracious
Professionalism® is a way of doing things that
encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and
respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST,
go to www.usfirst.org.
Robotics Competition (FRC® ) is an
annual competition that helps students to discover the excitement of
science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and the rewards a
career in STEM can bring. Approximately 68,000 high-school students from
17 countries will participate in the 2014 competition.
In 1992, the FIRST Robotics Competition began with 28 teams and a
single 14-by-14-foot playing field in a New Hampshire high-school gym.
This season, a projected 2,720 teams - including 392 rookie teams - will
participate. Fifty-four Regional competitions in the U.S., Canada,
Israel, and Mexico, plus 40 District competitions, and four Qualifying
Championship events, will culminate at the 2014 FIRST
Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, April 23-26. FIRST
programs are spearheaded by more than 130,000 dedicated Volunteers
worldwide, most of them professional engineers, scientists, and teachers
who mentor the next generation of innovators.
FIRST and the FIRST logo are registered trademarks of the
United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and
Technology (FIRST). LEGO® is a registered
trademark of the LEGO Group.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20140104005010/en/
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