Dean Kamen’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is a vibrant collaboration of high school students, teachers, and sponsors that pits teams against one another in innovative and challenging games. 2010 was the 19th years of the FRC, and teams from all over the globe competed to see who could fund, brand, build, and program the best robot. We covered FIRST’s kickoff ceremony this year and gave you a brief look at the Breakaway game that robots would compete in. Now, IEEE has a great video covering the NYC Regional Competition of the FRC, complete with some unique clips of Kamen describing what makes the event so special. Check it out below.
He may be the inventor of the Segway, the DEKA robotic arm, and dozens of other high tech devices, but I think it’s programs like FIRST which may create Kamen’s biggest impact. As we’ve seen in biped robot battles the world over, robotics competitions fuel huge amounts of interest and innovation. FRC does that but in a context that is specifically geared towards increasing student involvement. Mentor engineers guide large groups of students (25+) to not only develop robots but also problem solving skills. Skills they will need in for their promising careers in science and technology. The FRC is helping to create the next generation of engineers that will change our world. And it looks fun, too.
Make sure to catch Kamen discussing the problem solving skills that FRC teaches (1:00), the growth of the competition (3:17), and why he’s proud of the event (4:17).
[screen capture and video credit: IEEE Spectrum]