FIRST Robotics 2015 competition announced – Recycle Rush
Tom Spendlove posted on January 05, 2015 |

On January 3, 2015 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced their 2015 game, Recycle Rush. The announcement was video cast across 107 venues around the world to approximately 75,000 students on 3,000 different robotics teams.

Dean Kamen began the competition in 1992 to instill excitement for STEM careers and ideas in students and the world. His vision was to get students as excited about robotics competitions as they could be about football or basketball games. Students as young as six can join Junior FIRST Lego League with other programs continuing until the high school robotics competition.

Recycle Rush is played by two alliances of three robots each. Points are scored when robots stack totes on platforms, place recycling containers on top of the totes, and bonus points come from dropping pool noodles into the recycling containers.

Students have six weeks to construct, program and test a robot that will meet the requirements of the challenge. Regional competitions are held after the construction phase is complete and the FIRST Championship is held in St. Louis on April 22-25, 2015.

The fifty four by twenty seven foot field has a large zone of totes in the middle of the field. A fifteen second autonomous mode begins the match before team drivers operate the robots for the remainder of the match. Yellow totes can be placed on the step in the middle of the field to earn a cooperitition bonus for both teams.

Competitions will be split into qualifying rounds and elimination rounds, but a change will be that each match does not have a clear winner or loser. The goal is to score as many points as possible and get into the finals where the defense can happen.

FIRST Robotics is an incredible movement and in the last few years the program has grown to an even larger scale. Many states are providing grants to start at least one team in every high school, like Michigan’s STEM Partnership, and exposure is at an all-time high.

The principles of design constraints, working to meet goals, teamwork and accountability are all present in a FIRST Robotics season on a scale similar to the engineering workplace. Students are encouraged to use creativity, problem solving and resource management to fulfill their goals.

This year’s game seems simple but in my experience that allows newer teams to build a straightforward robot that meets the goals and more advanced teams to build something that can manage multiple tasks. Students across the world will be working for the next six weeks to meet these new challenges.

Recommended For You