Edit: The competition is over, but the videos are uploaded and you can still stream them!
The event took place at Memorial Coliseum in Portland. On the event floor, an impressive stage was built on which the competition was held: several pegs on opposing walls, and the robots were to pick up large inflatable rings and place as many as possible on those pegs. In just a couple minutes.
As is characteristic of awesome nerdy events like this, there were a lot of ridiculous getups. Just walking into the bleachers one could spot a team dressed in neon-yellow uniforms, a group with viking hats towards the front, a tiger and jester mascot, several waving flags, face paint, and at least six mohawks. Respectable mohawks, too.
Besides the several Oregon teams, there were teams from Washington, Idaho, California, Utah, Alaska, and even Mexico—58 in total. Among them, there were a lot of interesting names. Like BFG.
BFG obviously stands for Building Future Generations, and not anything else—let alone something from a 1993 fps videogame. This is their rookie year.
There are 10 people on their team—Connor, Davis, Hans-Christian, Lizzy, Missy, Morgan, Sam, Sierra, Tori and Zane—plus a few adults acting as mentors. The team started when three of the team members—Hans-Christian, Missy and Lizzy—got together and brainstormed the idea, but it came to fruition when one asked Boeing if they’d sponsor it. Once they got the ball rolling, things sort of fell into place and they were an FRC team.
With their forklift robot, they did pretty well in the round I saw them participate in—though not without a few hitches. As for other teams, just about every round was exciting. And some of them were dramatic, when a team would rather be penalized for blocking than let the other team get a specific-color ring. It got intense at times!
Robotics competitions are always pretty interesting to go to. Sometimes for the people-watching (lots of smartly-dressed folk are in to robotics), sometimes for the competition, and other times for the sheer spectacle. And the raw technology is pretty cool, too. I’ve never seen so many laptops in one building, except at PDXLAN.
Updates to come when winners are announced and pictures are released.