2013 FIRST Robotics Game Announced

Founder Dean Kamen launched the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) season yesterday with the Kickoff of a new robotics game called ULTIMATE ASCENT. Nearly 51,000 high-school students in 81 cities around the world joined the 2013 Kickoff via live NASA-TV broadcast and webcast. Over 1,000 California high school students gathered at 6 Kickoff locations throughout the state.

The 2013 game, ULTIMATE ASCENT, is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Discs scored in higher goals score Alliances more points. Matches end with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Take a look at the One Page Game Description for more details.

At the Kickoffs, FRC teams were shown the ULTIMATE ASCENT playing field and received a Kit of Parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a PC, and a mix of automation components – with no instructions. Working with adult Mentors, students now have six weeks to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Stop Build date is February 19, 2013.

Dr. Woodie Flowers shared a very eloquent explanation of one of the core values of FIRST,

“Clearly, Gracious Professionalism is contrary to what is promoted by many parts of our culture today. It’s nothing like reality TV, or bullying. It’s not about greed, or ruthless competition. It’s sort of like wise kindness. The gracious part has to do with empathy, helping, sympathy. The professionalism part has to do with knowledge, wisdom, and judgment. The point is that our professional knowledge comes from the brilliance of others. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants, and we owe others a lift. Society simply does not work unless people can trust those who have special knowledge.”

Directly after the Kickoff, many inspired teams went straight to work at strategizing, prioritizing and prototyping.

In the comments below, tell us how you spent your time following Kickoff!

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