Press Release – April 28, 2012

 2012 FIRST Championship Celebrates Science, Technology and Robots

FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) World Championship – FTC is designed for head-to-head competition. Teams are responsible for designing, building, and programming robots to compete in an Alliance format against other teams. This year’s FTC challenge was “BOWLED OVER!™

Using a combination of motors, controllers, wireless communications, metal gears, and sensors, including infrared tracking (IR) and magnet seeking, students program their robots to operate in both autonomous and driver-controlled modes on a field that includes two home zones with a platform and a ramp, and two protected zones.

The object of the BOWLED OVER! game is to design and build robots robust enough to push a bowling ball uphill, yet sophisticated enough to pick up racquetballs and place them into crates, and then stack the crates to score points. The final 30 seconds of the driver-controlled period is called the end game, where each Alliance, consisting of two opposing teams, is challenged to push their bowling ball into their “home zones” to score additional bonus points.

During the 2011/2012 FTC season, approximately 2,100 FIRST Tech Challenge teams competed in events in Canada, China, India, Mexico, Netherlands, Romania, and the U.S. This season, FTC also piloted programs in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. The 2011/12 FIRST Tech Challenge Sponsors include Official Program Sponsor for the FIRST Tech Challenge, Rockwell Collins, and FTC CAD and Collaboration Sponsor, PTC®.

The FIRST Tech Challenge World Championship Inspire Award, recognizing excellence in robot design and teamwork, went to Team 4220, Landroids, Livingston, N.J. The FIRST Tech Challenge Winning Alliance was Team 4444, Whitefield Academy, Louisville, Ky.; Team 4997, Masquerade, Tampa, Fla.; Team 354, ILITE Robotics, Haymarket, Va. from the Edison Division.

The FTC Volunteer of the Year Award winner was Mark Edelman, Playing at Learning, Fremont, Calif. The Compass Award for excellence in coaching/mentoring was awarded to Manuel Carbajal, coach of FTC team 3141, Bears of Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico.

Other FTC awards included:

  • Championship Finalists – Team 4220, Landroids, Livingston, N.J.; Team 4251, Cougar Robotics Team, Columbus, Ohio; Team 4240, 4-H Techno Clovers, Accident, Md.
  • Division Winners – Edison Division: Team 4444, Whitefield Academy, Louisville, Ky.; Team 4997, Masquerade, Tampa, Fla.; Team 354, ILITE Robotics, Haymarket, Va. Franklin Division: Team 4220, Landroids, Livingston, N.J.; Team 4251, Cougar Robotics Team, Columbus, Ohio; Team 4240, 4-H Techno Clovers, Accident, Md.
  • Division Finalists – Edison Division: Team 3717, CyberKnights, Seattle, Wash.; Team 3531, Short Circuits, Portland, Ore.; Team 5838, Inspiration Ginkgo, Cheng du, China. Franklin Division: Team 3705, Porhtal, Fairbanks, Alaska; Team 4590, CyberDaze, Seattle, Wash.; Team 3785, Beastie Bots, Highland Park, Ill.
  • PTC Design Award – Team 4529, Antipodes, Pacifica, Calif.
  • Connect Award – Team 3141, The Bears, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Rockwell Collins Innovate Award – Team 5454, dent in the universe, Orlando, Fla.
  • Motivate Award – Team 3477, Geeks In Just Their Underpants, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.
  • Think Award – Team 4554, Robo Mustangs, Putnam, Conn.
  • Judges’ Awards – Boot Strap Award: Team 5843, Auto Vortex, Bucharest, Romania; SAFETY FIRST Award: Team 311, Fembots, Williamston, S.C.

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