This Saturday was the kick-off for the 28th FIRST Robotics Competition. This competition has grown from a couple dozen schools to over 3000 teams internationally. This year, Sparkfun has reached out to help teams in this year's competition.
This Saturday was the kick-off for the 24th Annual FIRST Robotics Competition - Recycle Rush. On behalf of everyone here at SparkFun, we want to wish all teams the best of luck!
If you've never heard of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), it is a one of a kind engineering / robotics / community event. Students spend an intense six weeks working with adult mentors to plan out, design, test and build a robot to compete in an annual game challenge. There are a lot of robotics competitions out there but none come close to the intensity, complexity and involvement as FIRST. If I counted correctly there are 108 regional & district competitions events across the world -- all culminating in the World Championships at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. The competitions start the last week of February. I encourage you all to grab your friends and family and go check one out!
This year's competition, [Recycle Rush]((http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/2015-game), challenges teams to manipulate, move and stack large recycling totes on a 27' x 56' playing field. Teams work collaboratively in alliances of 3 robots to score as many points as possible during each round.
For the past decade I have had the pleasure and opportunity to mentor and coach three different FIRST teams in our area:
I've learned as much from my team(s) as I hope my students have learned from me. I've been looking for a way to join my work here at SparkFun with the amazing energy around FIRST. This year, I was able to convince our management team at SparkFun to partner with FIRST.
If you are with a FIRST team you will find that we have provided our 6 DOF integrated gyroscope and accelerometer package with the 2nd round of FIRST Choice Parts by AndyMark.
This nifty sensor is a replacement to the Sensor Panel that has been included in the KOP for the past few years. It's a great sensor to give your robot precise positioning and turning accuracy. Our board uses the same 3-axis accelerometer (ADXL345 from Analog Devices) and a more advanced 3-axis ITG-3200 MEMS gyro. If you're looking for help hooking this up -- a long time friend of SparkFun, Adam Meyer, wrote up a great tutorial on hooking up this sensor to an Arduino on his site bildr.org.
Make sure that you have your Priority Lists completed and submitted to AndyMark by noon (Eastern) so that you all have an equal chance at the FIRSTChoice parts and components donated by all of this year's sponsors.
I just want to wish all teams out there the best of luck! In addition to our electronics and sensors - we also have a wide selection of structural robotics and motors from Actobotics in stock. Actobotics has a unique hole pattern that provides a variety of mounting positions and angles -- all using standard 6-32 hardware.
And, if you look at our Actobotics parts, our IT and Mechanical Engineering team just launched a new 3D viewing engine that's super cool! Look for the 3D icon on the product pages.
In our effort to continue our support of great STEM programs out there we offer a discount code to all FIRST® teams. Just fill out the form to apply for a discount code for any purchases you make for your team this year.I'm on a FIRST Team!