Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday Snap: Killer Robots

I start this week off being so proud of my son Mackenzie (he's the blondie in the back of the team line-up) and our whole robotics team. They did AWESOME in their tournament this weekend, which was their first ever using the bigger FTC robots. They designed, built, and programmed this bad boy in the last 8 weeks and it performed really well. They ended up coming in 7th overall in the tournament, which was a big surprise.

Mackenzie was one of the two team "drivers", the robot operates autonomously at the start of each match (following the programming that the team did ahead of time) and then is driven by two drivers from the team, one who controls the wheels and one who controls the attachments that can score points by removing batons from a dispenser and placing them in goals. This is tough stuff people!

My entire write-up of the event is on my Blue Skies Blog here with lots more photos and descriptions. If you have a kid or know a kid who has a mind for engineering, I can't say enough good things about the FIRST program for robotics. This is Mackenzie's 5th year, and my 4th year as the team's coach and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience each and every year. Our country and our world will depend on the minds of our young engineers. Encouraging them is a top priority.

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