Students using CTL® 2go® PCs to power their robots
in the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Celebrating Our 6th year of Sponsoring
the FIRST Robotics Competition
Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, was recently awarded the prestigious James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award, joining previous honorees such as Bill Gates and Gordon Moore (Intel co-founder and creator of Moore’s Law). Not only has Kamen patented 500 inventions including a portable dialysis machine, an insulin pump for diabetics, a vascular stent, a motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs and a prosthetic arm for soldiers, he also founded a non-profit that awards millions of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of high school students across the globe.
And what does CTL® have to do with Dean Kamen? Since 2009, CTL® and our 2go® PC brand have proudly been sponsors of Kamen’s non-profit, FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology). FIRST is an international, mentor-based program that builds science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, skills through a fun, team-building competition. Saturday, January 4 marked the kickoff to the 2014 season, where high school students across the globe design and build robots to compete against a field of competitors.
“FIRST is a real chance to be a cultural change agent that will prevent this country from sliding from its leadership position held for 200 years… [That won’t continue] unless kids get into science and tech in a meaningful way and have as much passion for that as they have for sports and entertainment,” said Kamen in a recent interview with Business Insider.
Five years ago, CTL® worked with FIRST to equip FRC teams with 2go® Classmate PCs that students used to program and remotely control their robots. Since then, we have been a resource to many teams for their 2go® PCs, and will again be supplying CTL® 2go® PC E12 netbooks for the 2014 season. In this program for high school students, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” and use their teamwork skills to design and program a robot that will perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Professional mentors volunteer their time and talents to guide each team.
This year’s challenge, titled “Aerial Assist,” will be played by two competing Alliances of three robots each on a flat 25’ x 54’ field, straddled by a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a two minute and 30-second match. The more Alliances score their ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their Alliance receives.
Nearly 70,000 high-school students on more than 2,700 teams in 92 cities around the globe are signed up to participate in this year’s competition. Fifty eight Regional competitions in the U.S., Canada, and Israel, plus 17 District competitions, one State Championship, and one Regional Championship will culminate at the 2014 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri on April 23-26.
CTL® is proud to have our 2go® PC E12 powering some of the student-designed robots competing in this year’s FIRST challenge. Good luck to all the teams and watch this blog for more updates as the season progresses!