Archive for April, 2010

Students’ siege-engine robots rumble in Dallas

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

From CNET’s Crave Blog:

Thousands of students from around the world converged on Dallas over the weekend with curious, siege engine-like robots they designed and built. Their mission wasn’t to smash local architecture but to triumph in a game called Clean Sweep, part of the 2010 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship held at the Dallas Convention Center April 22-24.

The budding roboticists from middle schools, high schools, and colleges in 14 countries created their machines using the VEX Robotics Design System, an educational platform that can yield a wide range of autonomous and remote-controlled bots.

In Clean Sweep, alliances of robots have to put as many balls as possible over a barrier and into the opponent’s field. The robots operate autonomously part of the time; otherwise they are remote controlled. Students from China and New Zealand defeated nearly 400 other teams to take the championship title.

Organizers say the VEX kits help students develop critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. Meanwhile, officials from partner groups like NASA were on hand to scout out potential robot masterminds.

See the full blog post and photos here.

China and New Zealand Teams Reign Supreme at the VEX World Championship

Monday, April 26th, 2010

China and New Zealand High School Teams Reign Supreme at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship

MythBusters’ Grant Imahara Inspires Students at Global Robotics Competition

Dallas, Texas – April 26, 2010 – Winners of the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship were crowned this weekend by Grant Imahara, host of the Discovery Channel’s hit show MythBusters. Shanghai’s Luwan high school team and New Zealand’s Free Range Robotics and Kristin Doves teams triumphed as the winning alliance after defeating nearly 400 teams through multiple rounds of intense competition. Elite VEX teams from middle schools, high schools and universities representing 14 countries competed at the Dallas Convention Center on April 22-24 with innovative robots they designed and built using the VEX Robotics Design System.

The VEX robots were engineered to play the game “Clean Sweep” with students applying their programming skills and strategic thinking to defeat the opposition. Participants of the VEX program compete throughout the year and learn critical life skills including leadership, teamwork and technical problem solving. Richard Paul, captain of the Free Range Robotics team from the winning alliance said, “VEX Robotics has taught us how to work together in high pressure situations. We’re now better prepared to handle challenges because we’ve learned how to approach problems with different solutions.”

The VEX Robotics Competition World Championship included qualifying teams from 14 countries including Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States for three days of non-stop, high-energy robotics challenges. The VEX Robotics program is the largest and fastest growing middle and high school robotics competition in the world, featuring 200 events with 2,600 teams representing 20 countries.

“At the VEX Robotics World Championship, students get to be the stars and are celebrated for applying what they learn in the classroom,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “Our commitment is to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math education to get them excited about pursuing technology careers.”

In addition to the middle and high school championship, China’s Mianyang Normal University earned the College Championship title. Several teams also received prestigious awards for Robotic Skills, Programming Skills, and Excellence Awards. In the High School Division, Green Egg Robotics team #44 from Oakham, Massachusetts received the Robot Skills Award and Currahee team #1103 from Orwell, Ohio garnered the Programming Skills Award. In the Middle School Division, the Design Award went to Singapore team #8059A, while the esteemed overall Design Award went to Whitney High School Robotics #542 from Cerritos, California. Excellence Awards were presented for the top overall robotics programs and were awarded to high school team #1509 from Ridley College in Ontario, Canada; Pearl City Hawaii Highlands Intermediate Middle School team #394; and a college team made up of students from Drexel and Temple Universities out of Exton, PA.

BEST Robotics, a middle and high school robotics program established in 1993, hosted its national championship in conjunction with the VEX Robotics World Championship, where Metro Homeschool team 229 from Blue Springs, Missouri won the first place BEST Award. The BEST Award is the highest honor that any team can receive, and goes to the team that best embodies the spirit of the BEST program. Meanwhile, Conway High School team 185 from Conway, Missouri earned first place in the Robotics Award, for having scored the most points in the game, including preliminary, semi-final, and championship matches.

Partnering with Innovation First International as presenting co-sponsors are Autodesk, NASA, EMC Corporation and the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation. Additional supporting partners include Technology Students Association (TSA), Intelitek, Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University, FUTURE Foundation, ST Micro, MathWorks, ID Tech Camps, and Hyatt Regency Dallas.

The 2010/2011 game VEX Round Up was also unveiled at the VEX Robotics World Championship. The game is played on a 12’x12’ square field and two alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams. Each alliance competes in matches consisting of a twenty-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver controlled play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent alliance by placing tubes upon goalposts, owning goalposts, and by low hanging or high hanging from the ladder.

For more information about the VEX Robotics World Championship and all other award winners, please visit RobotEvents.com.

About VEX Robotics, Inc. and Innovation First International:
VEX Robotics, Inc. is a subsidiary of Innovation First International, a privately held corporation, which was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First International began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots and is now an industry leader in the hobby, competition, education and toy markets.

The company’s three subsidiaries, VEX Robotics, Inc., Innovation First Labs, Inc. (makers of HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures), and RackSolutions, Inc. span the education, consumer and business-to-business markets. The VEX Robotics Competition was launched in 2007, designed to give a diverse group of students the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and share their passion for robotics with each other.

Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry-wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes.

In the 2009 the company added offices in Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom to better serve the global marketplace. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center and corporate office located together in a 13-acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit www.innvationfirst.com for additional information.

Click here to download a PDF version of this release.

Leading Young Innovators Aim to Measure Up at VRC World Championship

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Leading Young Innovators Aim to Measure Up at VEX Robotics Competition World Championship on April 22-24, 2010

Mythbusters Engineering Savant Grant Imahara Set to Emcee Final Day of International Robotics Competition

Greenville, Texas- April 20, 2010- More than 3,000 leading middle school, high school and university VEX robotics students and mentors representing 14 countries from around the world will unite at the Dallas Convention Center and Arena on April 22-24, 2010 for the highly anticipated VEX Robotics Competition World Championship. To match the growing popularity of the VEX Robotics Competition, having tripled in size since its inception in 2008, Grant Imahara, from The Discovery Channel’s hit series Mythbusters, is scheduled to kick-off the final day of competition as emcee on Saturday, April 24th.

The tournament was designed as a vehicle for students to develop critical life skills such as teamwork, leadership and project management, honed through building robots and competing with like-minded students from around the world in a fun, non-traditional environment. “The technological economy of the future depends on equipping today’s youth with the tools necessary to become tomorrow’s leading innovators,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “The World Championship provides a global arena for us to support and celebrate the accomplishments of these young, diverse and enthusiastic minds.”

The VEX Robotics Competition World Championship is the pinnacle event for 400 of the most elite teams that qualified for a spot at the Dallas competition by excelling in one of the more than 200 VEX Robotics tournaments that took place from May 2009 to April 2010. Teams from around the world are tasked with programming and designing robots, using the industry’s leading VEX Robotics Design System, and forming strategic alliances as they challenge their toughest competitors playing the game Clean Sweep.

Clean Sweep is played on a 12’x12’ square field where two alliances composed of two teams compete against one another. Each match consists of a twenty-second autonomous operation where robots are controlled by onboard software, followed by two minutes of human-operated play. VEX Robotics offers students an exciting platform for learning about areas rich with career opportunities spanning science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and encourages teamwork, leadership and problem solving among groups.

The VEX Robotics Competition is being co-hosted by Innovation First International and the non-profit Robotics Education & Competition Foundation whose mission is to work with a variety of successful, technology-based programs that promote STEM education for students, including VEX, TSA and BEST Robotics Competitions. In total there are more than 2,600 VEX Robotics teams, making it the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world.

Presenting co-sponsors of the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship include Autodesk Inc., NASA, EMC Corporation and the FUTURE Foundation. Additional supporting partners include Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, Technology Students Association (TSA), Intelitek, Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University, ST Micro, MathWorks, ID Tech Camps, and Hyatt Regency Dallas. In conjunction with the middle and high school VEX robotics challenges, more than 30 university teams will be vying for world champion title in the VEX Robotics College Challenge. Meanwhile, VEX Robotics is also hosting 12 of the top BEST Robotics teams to compete at the Dallas Convention Center in its National Championship Competition. BEST Robotics Inc. is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization headquartered at Auburn University (AL).

About VEX Robotics, Inc. and Innovation First International:

VEX Robotics, Inc. is a subsidiary of Innovation First International, a privately held corporation, which was founded on the belief that innovation very early in the design process is necessary to produce simple and elegant product designs. Innovation First began producing electronics for unmanned mobile ground robots and is now an industry leader in the hobby, competition, education and toy markets.  The company’s three subsidiaries, VEX Robotics, Inc., Innovation First Labs, Inc. (makers of HEXBUG Micro Robotic Creatures), and RackSolutions, Inc. span the education, consumer and business-to- business markets. The VEX Robotics Competition was launched in 2007, designed to give a diverse group of students the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and share their passion for robotics with each other.

Leveraging the company’s core competency in electrical and mechanical engineering, the RackSolutions division works closely with all major computer OEMs to provide custom mounting solutions and industry- wide rack compatibility for data installations of all sizes.

In 2009 the company added offices in Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom to better serve the global marketplace. With an advanced in-house metal fabrication plant, distribution center and corporate office located together in a 13-acre complex in Greenville, Texas, the company is poised to continue on a rapid growth path. Please visit www.innovationfirst.com for additional information.

Click here to download release in PDF.