Technology

Live from the Javits Center: Students and Robots Race for the Prize

DiscoblogBy Karen RowanApr 5, 2008 5:30 PM
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Over one thousand high school students scurry around 64 robots along about the floor of the Javits Center in New York City. They are here to compete in the NYC regional contest to prove they have what it takes to put together the fittest, most agile, robot to rule them all. In this year’s competition the students, with the help of their teachers and outside engineers, designed robots that will fight—well, let’s say "compete"—to move on to the nationals (and get a shot at scholarship money) in a game of Overdrive. The goal is simple: two teams of three robots each race around a 1500-square foot track, earning points for successfully completing each lap. On top of this teams can get points for manipulating huge red and blue balls that sit atop a 6-ft-plus scaffold in the middle of the track. The robots get 6 points for bringing the balls down and 8 points if they can hoist them back up. After a day to stretch out their bots’ legs, work on last-second tweaks, and see how the design fairs in practice rounds, the games are on today to place the competitors in good standing for the finals on Sunday. We will be on the scene this weekend, checking out the servo action. Stay tuned to DiscoBlog for more.

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