Monday, December 11, 2017

FIRST Robotics - The New Game

The last couple of years I have been fairly deep into FIRST Robotics.  For those wandering in late it is a world wide competitive engineering program for high school students.  I have gone from being the smart adult who actually knew things about building robots to a combination of comic relief, ambassador and juggler of many delicate and/or heavy objects.  I also keep the floors swept.

Its the students who are the smart ones now, the students who create the technology that to primitive eyes - mine - is indistinguishable from magic.  I take consolation in the fact that the middle school students now coming up out of our "farm system" will quickly surpass my current high school wizards, who will in short order join me in the peculiar experience of watching Younger and Smarter people surpass them.

In our first two seasons we met a couple of times in the fall then had a "cold start" at the beginning of the build season.  That by the way is January 6th.  

This year we have kept the motors turning over slowly, so expect to have just a bit less rust on our early efforts.  We have a promising looking crew.  We only lost a couple to graduation and our returning veterans are smart.  We also have a good bunch of recruits.

Each year FIRST throws out a "teaser" video giving a basic theme for this year's game. It also contains hints and clues which are picked apart endlessly by those trying to guess at the specifics.  I must admit I have only watched it one time, so my game predictions below are ill informed.  But I did get things mostly right last year....

Theme: Classic video games

Assumptions: You can't actually roll Donkey Kong barrels all over the place.  

                      In the current era it is likely that the Princess will rescue the Prince.

                      Mostly non violent, or at least abstract.  There was Medieval Siege a
                      couple of seasons back.

So I predict stair climbing or ramps.  No, I'll go farther.  There will be both options. There will also be some kind of coin like objects to put into slots.  I'm going to say they will light up when put into the right place. Of course, and this is not a stretch at all, the background music and effects will all be cheesy early video game stuff.  I am already tired of the silly little "Wocka-Wocka" noise that Pac-man makes and fear that I will hear a lot more of it in the future......

Build Season begins in one month.

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