Part rock concert and part sporting event, the excitement of FIRST Robotics competitions is undeniable. On April 27-29, 2006, the excitement will be turned up a few notches as 344 of the best high school robotics teams will compete for points, pride, glory and the coveted championship trophy at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.|
Follow the tournament excitement; NASA will broadcast the qualification and championship rounds on April 28 and 29 via NASA TV (
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv) and the NASA Robotics Alliance Project (RAP) Web site (http://robotics.nasa.gov/).
The excitement for 1,133 teams began on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2006, when FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced the 2006 challenge, 'Aim High,' touching off a six-week frenzy of robotics madness. Teams are sent identical kits and have only six weeks to design, build and test their robots before they are crated and shipped to their local regional competition.
Image left: Team 254, the 'Cheezy Poofs,' score repeatedly after positioning their robot in front of the center goal. Credit: FIRST
The concept of 'Aim High' is simple. Three robots score points by putting balls into one of three goals. The difficulty comes in developing a capable, robust robot and creating an effective game plan with your alliance partners. To view game animation, please visit: http://robotics.nasa.gov/events/2006_kickoff.php.
Rivaling the passion and intensity of the NCAA's basketball tournament dubbed 'March Madness,' teams competed in 33 regional competitions in the United States and abroad during the month of March. This robotic version of 'March Madness' determines which teams will have the opportunity to compete for the championship.
Image right: The Cheezy Poofs and the Space Cookies (team 1868) execute their alliance strategy. The 'Cheezy Poofs' were the winners of the North Western and Silicon Valley Regionals. The Space Cookies took the Rookie All-Star and Highest Rookie Seed Awards during the Silicon Valley Regional. Credit: Dominic Hart, NASA Ames.
For the championship tournament, teams are divided into four divisions using a round-robin format. After the qualification rounds, the top seeded teams pick their alliance of three robots to compete for the division championships. The top alliances from each division compete for the 2006 championship.
As a major supporter of innovative programs that inspire students and spark an interest in science, technology and engineering, NASA supports robotics programs like FIRST through the Robotics Alliance Project (RAP). For FIRST, RAP provides team sponsorships, Web and broadcast support and help with event sponsorships and logistics support.
For 2006, NASA Headquarters and 10 NASA field centers are sponsoring more than 200 teams, with 55 qualifying for the championship tournament. The RAP portable machine shop, along with NASA technicians, also will provide support for all 344 teams at the championships.
Image left: The Red and Blue Alliances battle to score points and defend their goals. Credit: Dominic Hart, NASA Ames.
NASA's Robotics Alliance Project was created to bring together students, engineers, private organizations and other government resources to pursue the goal of increasing robotics expertise in the United States. The project supports programs that inspire students to become interested in pursuing technical careers through robotics competitions, facilitation of robotics curriculum enhancements and the development of a national clearinghouse for robotics education and career resources.
To view NASA FIRST Robotics features visit:
For more information about NASA's Robotics Alliance Project and the NASA TV and webcast of the event, visit:
For more information about the FIRST Robotics Championship visit: