RIT Hosting Annual Finger Lakes FIRST Robotics Competition

Teams and their ‘bots’ battle for spot at national competition in Atlanta




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More than 30 high school teams from the Northeast United States and Canada will square off, March 9-10, in the Gordon Field House and Activities Center at Rochester Institute of Technology, during the third annual Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics Competition.

FIRST—For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology— competitions challenge participants to solve engineering design problems in fun contests involving remote-controlled robots designed, built and programmed by students and their mentors. The program, created in 1989 by Dean Kamen, the well-known inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, aims to inspire students to pursue studies and careers in science, technology and engineering.

This year’s game, “Rack ‘N’ Roll,” challenges each team to maneuver their robot to pick up colored rings and place them on the arms of a circular rack, located at the center of the arena. Points are awarded based on the color of the rings and where they are hung on the center rack.

Winners of the regional competition will advance to the 2007 FIRST Championship, where they will compete against the other winners of more than 40 worldwide regional events, April 12-14 at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

This year’s opening ceremonies are slated for 9 a.m. Friday, March 9. Final rounds will be held 1-3 p.m. Saturday, March 10, followed by an awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. March 10. All events are open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.firstrochester.org.

Sponsors of the Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics Competition include RIT, Xerox Corp., Bausch & Lomb Inc. and Eastman Kodak Co.