Today I had the exciting opportunity to see some of our computers in action. Through our partnership with FIRST, an international robotics competition for High School students, I was able to attend this weekend’s regional competition, held in Portland’s Memorial Coliseum. This is one of many FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) events held throughout the country and the world. CTL is proud to provide our Classmate PCs for the FIRST kit of parts that students use to build and program their robots.
Essentially, FRC is where teams build robots to compete against each other. The students have about 6 weeks to design and build the robots. The robots can end up being 8 or 9 feet tall and weigh up to 150 pounds, and must be capable of preforming a variety of complex tasks. The students then compete with their robots in a game on a playing field against five other teams. It’s a lot of fun and a ton of hard work for these kids.
The competition is divided into two parts: Autonomous control and Human control. During the Autonomous portion of the competition, the robots must complete some tasks by themselves, with no human intervention. After a period of time, a buzzer sounds, and then the students take control the robots to complete other various tasks. Today the students had to get the robots to lift large inner tube like rings and place them on pegs. The CTL Classmate PCs are used by the students to program the robots and then control the robots during the competition.
CTL’s partnership with FIRST is particularly exciting for me, as I get to see students using our products in a real world environment. These students are extraordinarily bright and motivated and it’s amazing to see the incredibly complex pieces of machinery they’ve built.
This event will be followed up by the worldwide championship in St. Louis, Missouri, April 27-30.
For more information about CTL’s line of classmate PCs, click here.