University of Vermont

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College of
ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES

FIRST@UVM Features Students Robot Inspirations!

FIRST@UVMThe global sensation FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) made its inaugural appearance in Vermont on Saturday, February 23, 2013 in the Davis Center on the campus of the University of Vermont with an all-day cooperative competition.

With two berths up for grabs in the World Championship which will take place in St. Louis in April, 28 high school-based teams from CT, MA, NH, NJ, NY, MI, and VT took to the playing fields with their creative robots which were designed specifically for the annual challenge.The Vermont teams were: (Essex HS/CTE, U32 (East Montpelier); Lyndon Institute (Lyndon); Champlain Valley Union HS (Hinesburg); and Windham Regional Career Center (WRCC, Brattleboro),

President Thomas Sullivan opened the competitive robotics matches after the airing of an inspirational video message from Governor Shumlin.  After nearly fifty matches, the CHS Cougars from Columbia HS in Maplewood, New Jersey emerged as the winners of the Vermont Championship while scoring one of the highest point totals in the country this year.

The FTC platform features teams competing in alliances head-to-head, robot-against-robot, as they work to maneuver around the 144 square foot playing field to acquire and strategically relocate colored plastic donuts on a three dimensional structure reminiscent of a 3D tic-tac-toe board. While most of the robot’s decision making is done by the drivers who are connected by game controllers, there is also an autonomous period where the pre-programmed robots try to use sensors to locate an Infra-red beacon. The level of technological sophistication of the teams left the crowd alternatively stunned and screaming encouragement.

“The FIRST Challenges produce the type of student mindset that leads to great solutions; not just technical ones, but solutions for society,” says John Abele, Vice Chairman of FIRST. “The only way to win is to collaborate with your competitor.”

“This is the best type of learning environment, “said Olaf Verdonk from Champlain Valley Union High School and team mentor for Team Robo Hawk. “These types of challenges contain team work skills and problems solving skills that are vital to student success in college and the business world.” Thomas Stevens, one of the RoboHawk team members commented their team was excited to see their spider drive and scissor lift device designed with a bucket on the top to transport rings in competitive action.

The goal of FIRST is to motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) while building knowledge, self-confidence, and collaborative life skills. Founded over twenty years ago by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST now attracts more than 300,000 youth and more than 100,000 mentors, coaches and volunteers from more than 50 countries around the world. The annual programs culminate in an international robotics exhibition, competition and celebration where teams win recognition, make new friends, and perhaps discover an unanticipated career path.

In addition to the CHS cougars, Team Ingenium from Pelham, NH advanced to the World Championship because they won the coveted “Inspire” award for their innovative approach to the engineering problem posed by this year’s challenge.

To view results visit:http://www.uvm.edu/~first/

To read the TECH JAM article visit:
http://www.techjamvt.com/2013/02/12-reasons-to-love-vermonts-first-ever-first-robotics-tournament.html

To view the WCAX-TV3 videocoverage visit: http://www.wcax.com/video?clipId=8472954&autostart=true

To view WPTZ-TV5 footage visit:
http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/Bots-battle-for-victory-at-UVM/-/8869880/19070628/-/o7g96z/-/index.html

For access to Fox44 news visit:

http://www.fox44abc22yourvoice.com/story/21327316/uvm-hosted-for-inspiration-recognition-of-science-technology-event-saturday\

To access The Burlington Free Press news visit:

http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20130223/NEWS02/302230018/1007/NEWS02/A-riot-robots-compete-UVM-29-teams-show-nerdiness-cool-?nclick_check=1

 

Teams that competed were:

Team

 

Team No.

 

From

 

Organization

Academy of Science and Design

 

4024

 

Pelham, NH

 

ASD

Central Vermont Robotics (Robo-Raiders)

 

4946

 

East Montpelier, VT

 

U32 High School

CHS Cougars

 

4102

 

Maplewood, NJ

 

Columbia High School

Crandroids

 

5459

 

Bloomfield Hills, MI

 

Cranbrook Schools

Cyborg Gentleman Crabs

 

3397

 

Essex Junction, VT

 

EHS/CTE

Finding Blue Moose

 

5468

 

Foster, RI

 

Lurgio Home Robotics

Hammerdillo

 

6607

 

Lyndon Center, VT

 

Lyndon Institute

Hillers

 

4392

 

Hopkinton, MA

 

Hopkinton HS

Horse Power

 

6822

 

Putnam, CT

 

(None)

Ice Wolves

 

3568

 

North Brunswick, NJ

 

North Brunswick TwspHighschool

Ingenium

 

3590

 

Pelham, NH

 

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Metal Marauders

 

6337

 

Morris Plains, NJ

 

(None)

MITiBot

 

2875

 

Lexington, MA

 

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

NanoGurus

 

4347

 

Morris Plains, NJ

 

NanoGurus Robotics

PAKBOTS

 

38

 

Bloomfield Hills, MI

 

Cranbrook Schools

piotech

 

6719

 

clifton, NJ

 

pioneer academy of science

Python

 

37

 

Bloomfield Hills, MI

 

Cranbrook Schools

Radioactive Raiders

 

6508

 

North Brunswick, NJ

 

(None)

Robo Mustangs

 

4554

 

Putnam, CT

 

Putnam Science Academy

RoboHawks

 

5741

 

Hinesburg, VT

 

Champlain Valley Union HS

RoboSpartans

 

4082

 

New Hartford, NY

 

RoboSpartans Robotics

Robot Frenzy

 

6608

 

Lyndon Center, VT

 

Lyndon Institute

Rockybalboto

 

3694

 

Brattleboro, VT

 

WRCC

some assembly required

 

5241

 

Manchester, NH

 

The Derryfield School

Team HAX

 

40

 

Windsor, CT

 

Loomis Chaffee

Team Unlimited

 

0001

 

Sharon, MA

 

(None)

The Gingerbread Men

 

39

 

Bloomfield Hills, MI

 

Cranbrook Schools

Wildcats

 

4580

 

Meriden, NH

 

Kimball Union Academy

Wyverns

 

36

 

West Hartford, CT

 

Kingswood Oxford School