GO DADDY PARTNERS WITH RECF TO EXPAND K-12 ROBOTICS OFFERINGS IN 4 STATES

April 8th, 2013

Go Daddy provides $65,000 grant to support the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship & State Championships in Arizona, California, Colorado, and Iowa

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and Go Daddy, today announced a $65,000 partnership grant to support growth and development of four VEX Robotics Competition State Championships in Arizona, California, Colorado and Iowa. The partnership also supports the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Anaheim, CA on April 18-20, an event that will attract 700+ teams and 15,000 students for three full days of robotics engineering competition.

“Go Daddy clearly values expanding student interest and access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs, like the VEX Robotics Competition,” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “With Go Daddy’s generous support, more students, teachers and parents will have access to affordable and challenging hands-on robotics engineering education and competition opportunities.”

Go Daddy is the Web’s top platform for small businesses and serves more than 11 million customers worldwide. “Go Daddy believes it has a responsibility to invest in these tech-savvy students,” said Go Daddy Chief Human Resources Officer Lane Jarvis. “Go Daddy is passionate about creating opportunities for them. The students are learning valuable science and math concepts that are vital to their success as the next generation of technologists. The upcoming competitions are smart, fun and exciting events and a great fit for students – and for Go Daddy.”

The VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) has experienced incredible growth due to the efforts of the REC Foundation, expanding to include well-over 7,300 teams, accounting for 51 percent year-over-year team growth during the 2012-2013 season. The partnership with Go Daddy will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to this growth by adding or expanding state competitions in Arizona, California, Colorado and Iowa.

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which provides students and teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also engaging them in valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 350 events which culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

VRC is the largest co-curricular middle and high school robotics program and is expected to reach more than 85,000 students during the 2012-2013 season. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit RoboticsEducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work.

About Go Daddy
Go Daddy is the world’s largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. Go Daddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and is the #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com/PR.
- Go Daddy Operating Company, LLC – Copyright © 2013 GoDaddy.com, LLC All Rights Reserved

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VEX® Robotics Appoints John V-Neun as Vice President of Engineering

February 12th, 2013

V-Neun Chosen to Oversee Product Development Growth Worldwide

GREENVILLE, Texas – Feb. 10, 2013 – VEX® Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, announced today that John V-Neun has been named Vice President of Engineering. In this role, V-Neun will help manage the explosive growth of the VEX Robotics product lines, and will be responsible for the company’s engineering & educational development projects worldwide.

V-Neun has more than eight years of product development, project management, and engineering design experience. After receiving his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University in upstate New York, he relocated to Greenville, TX to join the Innovation First International team. Mr. V-Neun was one of the primary designers responsible for the initial development of the VEX Robotics Design System, and has been involved with VEX Robotics since its inception, serving as the company’s product manager and later Director of Product Development.

“John is a results-oriented leader with a proven track record of developing successful product lines,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics, Inc. “He is well suited for this position, and I am confident in his ability to lead the charge as we continue to provide high quality, affordable & accessible products that will engage students worldwide.”

A prominent member in the robotics community, V-Neun has spent nearly 15 years as a participant, volunteer and mentor of FIRST®. In 2008, he was recognized by FIRST® as a Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner, an honor which celebrates effective communication in the art and science of engineering and design.

“VEX Robotics is at a very exciting point in time, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead our engineering team as we work to create the next generation of products that will help advance STEM education,” said John V-Neun, vice president of engineering for VEX Robotics, Inc. “I am excited by what we’ve accomplished over the past five years, and with what we plan to accomplish in the next five.”

VEX is the only middle and high school robotics platform with significant penetration in both the daytime classroom instruction and extracurricular competitions. The company’s mission is to make VEX Robotics accessible to as many schools as possible, to as many students as possible, in as many cities, states and countries as possible.

About VEX Robotics
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational robotics products to middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on the VEX Robotics Design System, visit www.vexrobotics.com.

Northrop Grumman Foundation & REC Foundation to Create New Robotics Teams

February 6th, 2013

Northrop Grumman Foundation provides $2 million grant to support VEX Robotics Competition expansion in new locations worldwide

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the Northrop Grumman Foundation today announced a partnership to establish 200 new VEX Robotics Competition teams in locations worldwide and support the program’s outreach. In addition, the partnership will support the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship in Anaheim, Calif., April 17-20, an event that will attract more than 700 teams and 15,000 students for three days of robotics engineering competition.

“Our partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation illustrates our shared objective to advance student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] through accessible hands-on robotics engineering programs,” said Jason Morrella, president, REC Foundation. “We are grateful to the Northrop Grumman Foundation for its support and commitment to STEM, and we look forward to expanding our reach to students and schools in need across the United States and internationally.”

“We’re delighted with the continued growth of this program,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “The competitions are fun and challenging, and they are generating increasing interest in STEM with our young people, which is our goal.”

The REC Foundation is on target to increase to 7,000 teams – a 30 percent growth this year alone. The partnership with the Northrop Grumman Foundation will uniquely position the REC Foundation to respond to growing demand in communities in the U.S. and around the world with support for operational growth, events and new team grants. Locations targeted for expansion include: Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, Dallas, Florida and Mississippi. The Northrop Grumman Foundation will provide a $2 million grant over two years beginning in 2013.

The REC Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which student teams worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also providing valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 350 events that culminate in April at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship.

The VEX Robotics Competition is the largest middle and high school robotics program in the world and is expected to reach more than 85,000 students during the 2012-2013 season. To learn more about the REC Foundation, please visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.

About the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry and the nonprofit community to achieve this work.

About the Northrop Grumman Foundation

The Northrop Grumman Foundation supports diverse and sustainable programs for students and teachers. These programs create innovative education experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information please visit www.northropgrumman.com/foundation.

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VEX Robotics Relaunches VEXpro Product Line with over 120 New & Improved Products

December 5th, 2012

Competitive robotics teams to benefit from more options at a lower price

GREENVILLE, TEXAS (December 5, 2012) — VEX Robotics, Inc., announced today a full restructuring of its VEXpro product line with product updates and new releases, giving high-end competitive roboticists superior performance at a lower price. The release includes over 120 new products, including DC motors, gearboxes and wheels.

“We are extremely excited about the re-launch of our VEXpro product line,” said Paul Copioli, president of VEX Robotics. “Competitive robotics teams that build large-scale robots can now do more for significantly less cost.”

Highlights of the VEXpro line include – VEXpro Ball Shifters that utilize a ball lock shifting method accomplished with a lightweight and compact pancake pneumatic cylinder that is included, VersaPlanetary gearboxes that allow for multitudes of gear ratio options and motor choices without requiring a custom pinion gear, and the VersaHub system that ensures precise alignment of wheels and sprockets with the high quality nature of all VEXpro gears and sprockets.

“Competitive robotics enthusiasts will be highly impressed by all of the subtle details in these new products,” said John V-Neun, director of product development for VEX Robotics. “We designed the new VEXpro products to be easily integrated into almost any application, with no frustration or workarounds required.”

The updates to the VEXpro product line launch just in time for the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition season, of which VEX Robotics and parent company Innovation First International are proud supporters. The companies donate products to the competition’s kit of parts and provide support and mentors to competition teams.

For information about VEXpro, visit www.vexpro.com

About VEX Robotics, Inc.
VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational and competitive robotics products to middle schools, high schools, colleges and robotics teams around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The VEXpro product line, designed for large scale competitive robots, gives robotics enthusiasts superior performance for less cost. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on VEX Robotics, visit www.vexrobotics.com.

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VEX Robotics & IFI Increase Support of FRC Teams

November 5th, 2012

VEX Robotics and its parent company, Innovation First International (IFI), have been strong supporters of the FIRST Robotics Competition for more than 14 years. Each year, the company provides mentors, team sponsorship opportunities and is an official supplier for the FRC Kit of Parts.

For the 2013 season, Innovation First International has taken strides to support FRC teams more profoundly by increasing its Kit of Parts donation. In addition, we are excited to announce that from December 5, 2012 – April 15, 2013, FRC teams will be able to purchase the new Victor 888 motor controller from VEX Robotics for only $50.

We understand that many FRC teams operate with limited resources, and this new pricing is intended to help teams purchase the additional motor controllers they need for the upcoming season, without going over their budget. Various IFI stickers will be included in every FRC Kit of Parts so teams who take advantage of this donation can show appreciation by placing them on their robot.

We wish all teams the best in the upcoming season!

Virginia Communities Host Summer Robotics Camps

August 13th, 2012

Robotics has been a big craze in the Virginia communities of Prince William, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. During the school year public schools, private schools, home schools have the opportunities to compete in seven types of robotics programs available to students from as early as elementary school to as far as high school..Now even college level. But that has not been enough, the robotics summer camp is on its 4th year of existence and it has grown five times as much in that time frame.

Friday, August 10th was the last day of the 2012 summer robotics camps hosted by SySTEMic Solutions, part of Northern Virginia Community College.

250 students from elementary thru high school participated in 11 different types of camps. Some campers were in camps that included the Food Factor challenge or the advanced fire fighter challenge. Other campers were in Jason camp which included underwater robotics and cameras to help guide them thru a series of mazes. Lastly, the largest camps have been the VEX robotics camps for middle and high school students. Both Woodbridge High School and Patriot High School have hosted these camps from the beginner VEX programmer/builder to those with 2+ years of experience in a two week advanced VEX camp.

The community was invited to Patriot High School to see the accomplishments of the advanced VEX robotics students and the other campers robotic activities.

These students are having fun in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematic) skills while participating in a fun competition. Students are learning how industries such as Micron, Lockheed Martin and FBI/PWC Police use robotics in their business from manufacturing to law enforcement. This final competition day was very exciting for the students, the coaches and the families!!

Baltimore City Public School Students making the most of their summer with VEX Robotics

August 1st, 2012

Over 200 Baltimore city students are putting their VEX Robotics engineering prowess to good use today during the 2012 BCPSS Summer Robotics Olympiad in Timonium, MD.  The Olympiad is the culminating event for these students who are part of Baltimore’s 5-week “Create the Solution” summer VEX Robotics program.  When the Summer Olympiad closes today at 5:30 PM, the winning alliance will go home with the title of 2012 BCPSS Summer Robotics Olympiad Tournament Champion.

Baltimore’s “Create the Solution” summer program is one of several high-quality summer learning programs recognized by the National Summer Learning Association for providing an unequal summer learning environment to students in at-risk communities.  The Baltimore City Public School System added the VEX Robotics platform to its summer offerings in 2010 as part of a system-wide summer school revamp aimed at reducing the learning loss in the math and science disciplines by the city’s students.  The VEX Robotics program is one of several “Create the Solution” summer programs being offered this year to increase the achievement of Baltimore’s students.

Additional information about today’s 2012 Summer Robotics Olympiad can be found at http://www.robotevents.com/robot-competitions/vex-robotics-competition/baltimore-city-schools-robotics-olympiad.html

HEXBUG Y VEX ROBOTICS PRESENTES EN ROBOCUP 2012

June 5th, 2012

México D.F. a 5 de junio de 2012.- Innovation First International anunció hoy que estará presente en RoboCup 2012 del 20 al 23 de junio, para mostrar su línea de productos HEXBUG®, criaturas micro robóticas, diseñadas con la más alta tecnología y conocidas alrededor del mundo. La RoboCup 2012 se llevará a cabo en el World Trade Center en la Ciudad de México del 18 al 24 de junio y estará abierta al público en general del 20 al 23. Este gran evento es una competencia mundial de robótica, cuyo objetivo es impulsar el desarrollo científico y tecnológico fomentando la colaboración internacional en la cual se atrae a cientos de participantes y a miles de espectadores cada año.

Innovation First International también se une con Reeduca para participar en RoboCup 2012 con dos demostraciones de la Competencia VEX Robotics a las 16:30 hrs. el 21 y 22 de junio. La Competencia VEX Robotics es un programa que inspira a miles de estudiantes a nivel mundial para perseguir una educación y trayectoria profesional relacionada con CTIM (Ciencia, Tecnología, Ingeniería y Matemáticas). El Sistema de Diseño VEX Robotics desarrolla la inspiración y creatividad para alcanzar niveles más altos en la competencia robótica. Este programa ofrece a profesores y estudiantes un sistema de robótica económico, sólido y de última tecnología apropiado para uso en el salón de clases así como en el campo de juego.

Cuatro equipos de estudiantes mexicanos estarán presentes en RoboCup 2012 para hacer demostraciones de “VEX Gateway”. Éste se juega en un campo cuadrado de 3.66 metros por 3.66 metros. Dos alianzas –una “roja” y otra “azul”– compuestas por dos equipos cada una, compiten en partidas que consisten en un periodo autónomo de 20 segundos seguido por 2 minutos de juego controlados por un conductor. El objetivo del juego es obtener un puntaje mayor al de la alianza oponente, y el objetivo de la Competencia VEX Robotics es difundir la ciencia y tecnología a través del desarrollo de habilidades y destrezas en el diseño y programación de robot.

Innovation First International, con su línea de productos HEXBUG®, insectos robots reales diseñados con la más alta tecnología atractivos para cualquier niño, adolescente y adulto, presentará en exposición al HEXBUG Nano, HEXBUG Nano que brilla en la oscuridad, HEXBUG Original, HEXBUG Ant (Hormiga), HEXBUG Crab (Cangrejo), HEXBUG Inchworm (Oruga) y la HEXBUG Spider (Araña). Los HEXBUG son robots inteligentes que actúan por sí solos de acuerdo a lo que encuentran en su entorno que estimulan la imaginación de los niños. Se puede encontrar a la familia de HEXBUG criaturas micro-robóticas en las tiendas departamentales y jugueterías del país, incluyendo Liverpool, Fábricas de Francia, El Palacio de Hierro, Walmart, Costco, Sanborns, Inova y RadioShack.

RoboCup ha tenido como sedes distintas ciudades como son Atlanta en 2007, Shuzou en 2008, Graz en 2009, Singapur en 2010 y Estambul en 2011. En este año RoboCup se llevará a cabo en la Ciudad de México, la organización correrá a cargo de  la Federación Mexicana de Robótica (FMR), dicha organización agrupa reúne a grupos de investigadores interesados en robótica móvil y campos relacionados de las principales universidades e institutos en México.

Las competencias que se llevan a cabo dentro de RoboCup son:

RoboCup@Home
Son aplicaciones del mundo real y la interacción hombre-máquina con robots autónomos. El objetivo es fomentar el desarrollo de aplicaciones robóticas – que puedan ayudar a los seres humanos en la vida cotidiana.

RoboCupRescue
Es la búsqueda y rescate en situaciones de desastres a gran escala. Promueve la investigación en temas socialmente importantes.

RoboCupSoccer
Utiliza el fútbol como un tema central de investigación. El objetivo es desarrollar un equipo de robots humanoides plenamente autónomos, que para el año 2050,puedan ganar contra el equipo campeón del mundo humano en fútbol.

RoboCupJunior
Es la iniciativa educativa orientada a proyectos para estudiantes de hasta 19 años. Es una experiencia nueva para entender la ciencia y la tecnología a través de experiencias prácticas con electrónica, hardware así como software. Ofrece oportunidades para aprender sobre el trabajo en equipo y el intercambio de ideas con amigos, así como el desarrollo de materiales de estudio y métodos pedagógicos innovadores.

Este año 2012 el evento se desarrollará en 18,000 m2 de piso de exhibición. El Torneo mundial de RoboCup atrae cada año cerca de 500 equipos y 3,000 participantes de más de 40 países en el mundo.

Los equipos mexicanos siempre están presentes en RoboCup, en los últimos 2 eventos han participado con 18 equipos y 82 participantes en las categorías de Soccer, Rescue, Simulation, Small size, Standard platform, Junior y @Home.

RoboCup
Es la competencia internacional más importante de Inteligencia Artificial (IA) y robótica, cuyo objetivo es impulsar el desarrollo científico y tecnológico en este campo y fomentar la colaboración internacional. RoboCup es el evento más importante de este tipo en el mundo, atrayendo a cientos de participantes y a miles de espectadores cada año. El comité organizador está integrado por la Federación Mexicana de Robótica; Patrocinadores mundiales: Aldebarán y Festo; Patrocinadores Platino: CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología) y UNAM; Patrocinadores Oro: Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) y Universidad La Salle; Patrocinadores Plata: Facultad de Ingeniería de la UNAM, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Robotis, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) e Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN) ; Socios del evento: Grupo Fidalex, Red Nacional de Robótica y Mecatrónica (RobMec) y el Centro Internacional de exposiciones y convenciones (WTC).

Acerca de Innovation First International:
HEXBUG® es una línea de productos desarrollada por Innovation First Inc., distribuida y comercializada por Innovation First Labs, Inc., ambas subsidiarias de la compañía privada Innovation First International, Inc. La compañía fue fundada bajo el principio de que la innovación en etapas muy tempranas en el proceso de diseño, crea productos con diseños elegantes y sencillos.  Innovation First comenzó con la producción de circuitos electrónicos para robots móviles terrestres no tripulados y ahora es líder en la industria de los mercados de juguetes, educativos y de competencia robótica.

Las tres compañías subsidiarias más importantes para Innovation First International son VEX Robotics, Inc., Innovation First Labs, Inc. (creadores de HEXBUG® Criaturas Micro Robóticas), y RackSolutions, Inc. que suplen respectivamente tres segmentos de mercado: competencia robótica, consumidora y comercial, en el segmento de ventas de empresa a empresa.  Los  VEX® Robotics Design System son la plataforma líder para la educación en escuelas al nivel de secundaria y preparatoria además de competencia robótica. Al impulsar las actividades de la compañía en el área de ingeniería eléctrica y mecánica, la división RackSolutions trabaja en estrecha colaboración con los principales fabricantes de equipos originales de servidores para proporcionar soluciones de montaje y compatibilidad con la instalación de centros de datos de todos tamaños.

En 2009 la compañía estableció oficinas en Hong Kong y en Gran Bretaña para tener una mayor cobertura en el mercado global. Con avanzada tecnología y una planta metalúrgica propia dentro de la compañía, un centro de distribución y oficinas corporativas, ubicadas en un espacio de 52, 611 m2 en Greenville, Texas, Estados Unidos de América. La compañía está preparada para continuar su plan de expansión  y rápido crecimiento. Para mayor información por favor visite www.innovationfirst.com.

 

Teams From Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore And United States Shine The Brightest At The 2012 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship

April 23rd, 2012

More than 10,000 Middle School, High School & College Participants from Nearly 20 Countries Gathered to Compete in the World’s Fastest Growing Robotics Movement

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich., April 23, 2012 – The Golden State grew a bit brighter this weekend as more than 10,000 participants comprised of middle school, high school and university students, educators and team mentors from nearly 20 countries around the globe showcased their smarts in the fierce three-day 2012 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center. After the final points were tallied, the winning alliance from each division was comprised of teams from Canada, China, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the United States, who took home the coveted World Championship trophies.

Six hundred of the nearly 5,000 VEX Robotics Competition teams qualified to face-off in the robot ring against their toughest competitors at this year’s VEX Robotics Competition World Championship after battling in more than 300 local, regional and national tournaments around the world during the season. Beginning on Thursday, the global competition kicked off with preliminary qualification rounds. Friday morning, students took part in the opening ceremonies parade of nations, bearing their respective countries’ brilliant flags, followed by a series of intense head-to-head matches throughout the afternoon. The festivities reached a crescendo on Saturday as the division champion alliances worked together to defeat their competition in the Finals. Kicking-off the Finals, participants were set aglow by iLuminate, the awe-inspiring dance-in-the-dark sensation that took audiences by storm last summer on the hit television series “America’s Got Talent.” The performance was led by Miral Kotb, iLuminate founder and software engineer who developed the patent-pending wireless lighting technology.

The Tournament Champion Alliance from the Middle School Division was comprised of team 8066A, Atom, from Singapore; team 5199A, Shanghai Shibei Junior Middle School, from Shanghai, China; and team 2300B, Robinson Middle School B, from San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Tournament Champion Alliance from the High School Division was comprised of team 569, NHRC, from Murrieta, Calif.; team 2900A, SymbiOHsis, from Auckland, New Zealand; and team 2W, Robosavages, from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Tournament Champion from the College Division was team TGTZ1, from La Universidad Tecnológica de Gutierrez Zamora, in Veracruz, Mexico.

In addition, one team from each of the three divisions was presented with an Excellence Award, the highest honor in the VEX Robotics Competition, given to the teams with the most well-rounded VEX Robotics Program. Team 2177, The F.I.V.E, from Oconomowoc, Wis. took home the Middle School Excellence Award; team 3018, Techna Pwn Robotics, from Council Bluffs, Iowa took home the High School Excellence Award; and team TSM1, Semex1, from Tejupilco, Mexico took home the College Division Excellence Award.

“We worked so hard to get here, and our whole team rose to the challenge that was before us in ways we didn’t even know were possible,” said Vinayak Pillai from team 569, NHRC, part of the High School Division Tournament Champion Alliance from Murrieta, Calif. “Each year VEX Worlds gets bigger, becomes more impressive, and the competition gets fiercer. Even if we didn’t win today, this event is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

“It is so inspiring to see the high-level of energy, dedication and professionalism that teams from around the world bring into the arena at the VEX Robotics Competition World Championship,” said Jason Morrella, president of the Robotics Education and Competition (REC) Foundation. “If the excitement we see each year at the VEX Robotics Competitions is anything compared to these kids’ in-classroom fervor for science, technology, engineering and math, these students are destined to succeed in any STEM related career of their choosing and become the leaders and innovators of our future.”

When students were not competing in the robot ring, they had the once-in-a-lifetime the chance to meet Nobel Prize Award Winner and Stanford University Professor Emeritus of Physics, Dr. Douglas D. Osheroff, who was present signing autographs and taking pictures alongside a VEX Claw Bot that held the gold medallion. Attendees were also inspired by replicas of NASA’s famous Mars Exploration Rovers Curiosity and Opportunity, which were on display during all three days of the competition. Additionally, FutureLab: The Innovation Expo gave young students hands on learning experiences to encourage them to consider studying scientific and technological ideas and processes involved with nanotechnology, deep space exploration, robotics, alternate energy, virtual reality and human genomics.

For those competitors eager to get a jump on next year’s robot designs, the 2012/2013 VEX Robotics Competition game Sack Attack was unveiled at the tournament on Saturday afternoon. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than your opponent by picking up colored bean bags and placing them in a scoring trough that runs the length of the field. Robots will also gain points for finishing in designated areas at the end of a match.

Partners and sponsors of the 2012 VEX Robotics Competition World Championship include Autodesk, NASA, EMC Corporation, the Northrop Grumman Foundation, Microchip Technology, intelitek, Robotics Academy at Carnegie Mellon University, Innovation First International, the United States Coast Guard Academy, the Technology Student Association, the CREATE Foundation and the FUTURE Foundation. In addition, VEX Robotics continually reaches students in the classroom through key partnerships with notable education-based organizations, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Technology Students Association (TSA).

In addition to the Excellence Awards and Middle School, High School and College Champion titles, several other technical and value-based awards were presented to the below listed teams and individuals in each program for excelling in the following categories:

Excellence:

  • Team 3018, Techna Pwn Robotics, from Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Team 1200C, Technical Breakdown, from Neenah, Wisc
  • Team 1069E, Critical Mass, from Berthoud, Colo.
  • Team 4109, 808 Robotics, Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Team 2177, The F.I.V.E., from Oconomowoc, Wisc.
  • Team 169Y, The Cavalry, from Haverford, Pa.
  • Team TSM1, Semex1, Tejupilco, Mexico

Amaze

  • Team 720P, aMAX, from North Shore City, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Team 3057, Tenacious Tech, Mendham, N.J.
  • Team 1900W, Team GMA, College Park, Ga.
  • Team 404D, ECR 404D, from Woodland Hills, Calif.
  • Team 6966A, GONBOTZ, from Mexico
  • Team 80X, VEXMEN:X-23, from Exton, Pa.
  • Team TSEL, Selva, from Chiapas, Mexico

Build

  • Team 918B, Panther Bots, from Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Team 8066B, Zeus, from Singapore
  • Team 355B, APEX, from Batavia, Ill.
  • Team 2205A, The Pioneers, from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • Team 10D, Exothermic Imension, from Redmond, Wash.
  • Team 1069D, Palladium, from Berthoud, Colo.
  • Team MESS, aMEss, from North Shore City, New Zealand

Community

  • Team 8058A, The Future, from Singapore
  • Team 2931B, Prime, from Auckland, New Zealand
  • Team 36, Unidentified, from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
  • Team 81A, VEXMEN: Apocalypse, from Downingtown, Pa.
  • Team 4191, Raptor Robotics, from Monticello, Utah
  • Team 542, WSH Robotics, from Cerritos, Calif.

Create

  • Team 8066C, Thor, from Singapore
  • Team 1001E, Comet Tech, from Greentown, Ind.
  • Team 2091, FMHS Robotics, from Flower Mound, Texas
  • Team 44, Green Egg Robotics, from Oakham, Mass.
  • Team 974, Hazardous, from Loveland, Colo.
  • Team 1471A, the Third Wave, from Fountain Hills, Ariz.
  • Team USU, Utah State University, from Logan, Utah

Design

  • Team 3876C, Arkham Asylum Members, from Longmont, Colo.
  • Team 3946A, Sun Devils, from Englewood, Colo.

Educate

  • Team 359A, Hawaiian Kids, from Waialua, Hawaii
  • Team 2273, Caribbean School – ADV MS, from Ponce, Puerto Rico

Energy

  • Team 1360, Vibots, from Brandon, Fla.
  • Team 80N, VEXMEN: Nightcrawler, from Exton, Pa.
  • Team 4740B, Elroudah2Robots, from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  • Team 5589A, Wesley1, from Hong Kong
  • Team 687N, Cams, from Carson, Calif.
  • Team 675A, RoboDragons, from Lawrenceville, Ga.

Innovate

  • Team 8066B, Zues, from Singapore
  • Team 575, Exothermic Haiku, from Redmond, Wash.
  • Team PVTO, Valle De Toluca from Santiaguito Tlalcilalcali Almoloya De Juarez, Mexico

Inspire

  • Team 24C, Super Sonic Sparks C, from New Windsor, Md.

Judges’

  • Team 4318B, Bahrain Unified Team 1, from Manama, Bahrain
  • Team 4131A, Bears, from Mexico City, Mexico
  • Team 3685B, Searider Robotics, from Waianae, Hawaii
  • Team 1241X, Theory6 Robotics, from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Team 5225A, E-Bots â•¥ – ions, from Ontario, Canada
  • Team 3116, Control Freaks, from Stevenage, United Kingdom
  • Team KTOR, Knights of the Olde Robotic, from Exton, Pa.

Promote

  • Team 1118 and 1119, Sweetch Robotics, from Mexico City, Mexico

Sportsmanship

  • Team 12W, Acme-VEXcellence, from McLean, Va.
  • Team 8061D, Thundercat9, from Singapore
  • Team 2921, Free Range Robotics, from North Shore City, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Team 2218B, UGHS Blackhawks, from San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Team 2218A, UGHS Whitehawks, from San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Team 2213D, Lucchetti Robotic, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico
  • Team NYIT, Bears, from Old Westbury, N.Y.

Support

  • Team 8068A, Isotope, from Singapore
  • Team 2281, MASTER1 Robotics Team Inc., from Morovis, Puerto Rico
  • Team 2213A, Lucchetti Robotic, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico
  • Team 7008B, PROROBE, from Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Team 1200B, Mainframe Meltdown, from Neenah, Wis.
  • Team 2243B, Cupeyville School, from San Juan, Puerto Rico

Teamwork

  • Team 4119A, Kohala Middle School, from Kapaau, Hawaii
  • Team 394, Highlands Inter Robotics, from Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Team 1437Z, Patriot Robotics, from Calabasas, Calif.
  • Team 169A, The Cavalry, from Haverford, Pa.
  • Team 2616, Army of Two, from Cherry Hill, N.J.
  • Team 2616B, Black Tie Robotics, from Cherry Hill, N.J.

Think

  • Team 394B, Highlands Inter Robotics, from Pearl City, Hawaii
  • Team 4057C, SES-TSAN, from Hong Kong
  • Team 3129A, Green MacHHHHine,vfrom Mountain View, Calif.
  • Team 677, Montclair Robotics, from Montclair, N.J.
  • Team 1241Q, THEORY6, from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Team 79C, Krunch, from Tarpon Springs, Fla.
  • Team TFVZ, TSM2, from Tejupilco, Mexico

Robot Skills Champion

  • Team 8066A, Atom, from Singapore

Programming Skills Champion

  • Team 5225a, E-Bots  Pi-lons, from Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Autodesk Inventor Digital Prototyping Challenge

  • Team 550, AURA from Auckland, New Zealand

FUTURE Foundation Robot Construction Challenge

  • Team 341, Iron Eagles, from Severn, Md.

EMC Robotics Team/Club Website Challenge

  • Team 254, Cheesy Poofs, from San Jose, Calif.

RECF Team Educational Video

  • Team 3129A, Green MacHHHHine, Mountain View, Calif.

VRC Game Design Animation Challenge

  • Team 575, Exothermic Haiku, from Redmond, Wash.

Mentor of the Year

  • Betsy Lamb from Vextreme Velocity in Cranbrook, Mich.
  • Greg Cheslock from St. Mary Central High School in Neenah, Wisc.

Partner of the Year

  • Frank Flores accepted on behalf of the Northrop Grumman Foundation

Teacher of the Year

  • Alan Alessi from Team 2273, Caribbean School, Puerto Rico
  • Megan Connolly from Team 169, The Cavalry, from Haverford Pa.

Volunteer of the Year

  • Art Kimura & Renee Kimura from Hawaii
  • Bart Nash from Carver Robotics Club in Leesburg, Fl.
  • Greg Phillips from Governor Simcoe Secondary School in Ontario, Canada

STEM Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Dave Lavery, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration, NASA
  • Dr. Douglas Osheroff, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physics, Professor at the Department of Physics at Stanford University
  • Miral Kotb, founder of iLuminate

For more information about the VEX Robotics World Championship and this year’s award winners, please visit RobotEvents.com/championship.

About REC Foundation

The REC Foundation, standing for Robotics Education and Competition, is a 501© (3) non-profit organization, supports robotics and technology events and programs that aim to inspire and motivate students to advance in STEM education. In addition to supporting competitions for some of the world’s leading robotics platforms and organizations including VEX, TSA, BOTBALL and BEST, the foundation also provides program support and workshops focused on technology and professional development for educators – including the RobotEvents.com community portal website which helps promote multiple high quality programs and provides online registration and event pages for hundreds of events around the world.

About VEX Robotics

VEX Robotics, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovation First International, is a leading provider of educational robotics products to middle schools, high schools and colleges around the world. The VEX Robotics Design System, winner of the 2006 Best of Innovations Award at CES, was built from the ground up and designed to be an affordable, accessible and scalable platform used to teach science, technology, engineering and math education worldwide. The company has over 250 man years of experience supporting educational robotics programs and extensive engineering resources on two continents dedicated to the VEX Robotics platform. For more information on the VEX Robotics Design System, visit www.vexrobotics.com.

Download the full PDF of this press release here.

Mini-robot helps answer giant dinosaur questions

October 21st, 2011
Missing Attachment

When Ronald Fearing and Kevin Peterson, both engineers at the University of California in Berkeley, set out to create an addition to their previous innovations for military robotics, they didn't expect to stumble upon an ancient debate about prehistoric winged creatures. However, that's exactly what they did, according to a report in Wired.

The two main theories of the evolution of flight are the "trees-down" theory and the "ground-up" theory. The trees-down theory states that winged creatures used their wings to glide down from trees and other heights. The ground-up theory says that prehistoric birds used their wings to help them gather momentum while traversing inclined levels. Evidence via fossils has not yielded any solid conclusions.

When the two California-based engineers developed their DASH+Wings robot, a 25-gram machine, they realized it might be useful to help solve the debate.

DASH+Wings is a continuation of their six-legged robot called, DASH, an acronym for Dynamic Autonomous Sprawled Hexapod, which is one of multiple devices that the group has developed for U.S. military reconnaissance. Since the small, ground-based robots have difficulty in some terrain, especially those with steep inclines, the team decided to add wings to the robot. The propulsion from flapping wings was meant to help the devices conquer difficult terrain, Wired reported.

They soon called Robert Dudley, a paleobiologist at UC Berkeley, believing that their robot may be able to help settle the dinosaur debate.

The team then ran the robot through a series of tests which monitored its ability to climb inclines, run across flat services and glide. All of these tests were performed with and without wings. The results showed that the flapping wings helped with every test, especially gliding. As a result, the robot indirectly supports the trees-down theory, Peterson asserted. However, the conclusion has still not been reached.

"This study is a beautiful example of how relatively simple bio-inspired robots can address questions that are difficult or impossible to test in living organisms,” Brandon Jackson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Montana in Missoula, told Wired.

Although the DASH+Wings robot has wings, it can't necessarily fly as well as other robotics. The Paraswift from Disney Research and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich has the ability to catapult out of a plane and use its paraglider to safely land on the ground, according to NewScientist.