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FIRST Robotics brings Regional event to Australia in 2015

Robot mania is set to hit Sydney as robots race to compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC). 

FIRST, world’s leading robotics program will host the first Australia’s regional competition at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on March 11-14, 2015. 

Teams from Australia and around the world will take part in the FIRST Robotic Challenge (FRC) Regional event.

“This will be the first time that we’re holding a regional competition in Australia so it’s great to see that we already have teams registering from not only around Australia but also other countries including, Hawaii, Brazil, Taiwan, China and Singapore,” said Luan Heimlich, Regional Director for FIRST Australia.

In this event, teams will have about six weeks to brainstorm, design, prototype, build, program and learn to drive a robot before putting them to the ultimate test in this large scale robotics competition. The robots themselves are up to two metres tall and weigh as much as 50 kilograms.

In addition to competing in the robotics game, participants are also in the running for three prestigious awards; the Chairman’s Award, Engineering Inspiration Award and the Rookie All-star Award. The winning alliance and these award winners will be invited to compete in the FIRST World Championship event, to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

As one of the global sponsors for FIRST, Rockwell Automation is encouraging students to study a science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM) field at university. The company was the recipient of the Founder’s Award at the 2013 World Championships for their continued sponsorship of FIRST.

“Rockwell Automation is a great supporter of FIRST. The program has really taken off in Australia, we started small but we now have 30 teams. I think that once people talk to participants in the program, they really see and understand the power of the program and then look to becoming involved,” said Heimlich.

The theme for next year’s Regional event will be announced closer to the date but will no doubt combine the excitement of sport with science and technology to create a unique varsity Sport for the Mind. FRC helps young people, aged 14-18, discover the rewarding and engaging world of innovation and engineering.

Australia’s First Regional Event will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre from 11-14 March, 2015.

Inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. 

Based in New Hampshire, USA., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.

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