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About the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition

Participating in the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition is a big honor—even the President is interested in seeing the robots that are created for the event!
Participating in the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition is a big honor—even the President is interested in seeing the robots that are created for the event!
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Robotics are playing a bigger and bigger role in everyday life. Thus, it is important to constantly look toward the future of robotics technology and the “U.S. First Robotics Competition” is one of the largest and most important robotics competitions in the world.

FIRST stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.” Every year FIRST organizes an international high-school robotics competition where teams of students strive to assemble robots that weigh up to 120 pounds and can somehow positively serve mankind. Starting in the beginning of January, the teams are given six weeks to construct a robot that is expected to be able to operate autonomously and also operate when guided by wireless controls in order to successfully perform a list of tasks.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by an entrepreneur named Dean Kamen and an MIT professor named Woodie Flowers. Over the years FIRST grew in popularity and started attracting the sponsorship of major companies including Microsoft, Google, Texas Instruments and Boeing. The competition also appears on TV—in fact, ESPN covered the event from 1996 to 1998. Today the event can be watched on DirecTV, the Dish Network or through online mediums. Hence, anyone who is interested in seeing the competition has a means to explore it.

Generally students from many different countries take place in the competition equaling over one thousand teams and the competition grows each and every year. For example, in 2010 it was estimated that about 45,000 students took part in the competition but as of 2014 over 2,850 teams participated. FIRST gives out many scholarships to teams that show unique talent and this ensures the future of these students and the robots that they might create in the future.

Robots are going to impact the world more and more and so it is essential to promote the nurturing of minds who can craft such helpful and ingenious inventions. For this reason the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition deserves to be both praised and monitored to gauge the progression of the near and far future.

To find out more about the U.S. FIRST Robotics Competition visit the official website:
http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc