Oregon has a pretty great robotics competition scene for anyone from elementary up through high school. We’ve got The FIRST LEGO League for middle school students, Junior FLL for kids 6-9, and the FIRST Tech Challenge for high school students—all managed by ORTOP. Thanks to ORTOP, Oregon students can get really great experience in robotics so, when college rolls around, they’re ready to become great engineers and computer scientists.
Read about this year’s FLL championship.
But Oregon has one other competition, still FIRST but not organized by ORTOP, called the FIRST Robitics Competition. And they also do some really great things. They make big, 120 pound robots which compete on a large field. Every year, the challenge changes (read about last year’s FRC regional championship).
And this year, as you may have guessed, they’re playing basketball.
But this isn’t basketball like you know it. That’s not cool enough for high school robot engineers and programmers. Nope. This basketball game has three hoops on each side—something like Quidditch with robots.
Oh, and students are going to be able to control their robots with gestures via Kinect–which we at GetReal think is awesome, since we love talking about the Kinect.
The first qualifying tournament is in two weeks, on Saturday the 28th, with similar events proceeding on following weekends. They all lead up to the Oregon championship on February 26th, which anyone can go to.
And we recommend you do, so you’ll see why you should enter your own team next year.