FIRST Robotics Team Overcomes Challenges to Finish Strong
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., April 4, 2016 – NMR-sponsored Team FEAR (Falcon Engineering and Robotics) from Fayetteville, Tenn., battled their opponents at the Smokey Mountain Regionals of the First Robotics Competition in Knoxville, Tenn. The young team designed and built a robot to play a Capture the Flag-type game against fellow competitors, and used ingenuity and resourcefulness to quickly overcome game-time engineering challenges.
According to For Inspiration in Robotic Science and Technology (FIRST), the robotics competition provides “the excitement of sport, [and] the rigors of science.” Student teams have six weeks to build and program robots to perform challenging tasks against a field of competitors. Strict rules and limited resources add to the challenge.
Team FEAR designed a robot that performed both offensive and defensive functions in the game FIRST Stronghold, a game in which each side (called an Alliance) must breach the opponent’s fortifications, and weaken and capture the opposing tower. Team FEAR’s design supported a strategy of both speed and mobility, by running interference for defense while creating an offensive design that collected and fired boulders at targets to earn points and weaken the opponent’s defenses.
During the competition, the team met with several challenges on the game field that had them redesigning onsite with donated materials. A broken drive wheel resulted in a new design that could better handle the playing field’s obstacles. This game-time solution presented new problems, however, which the team handled with poise and ingenuity. By changing the dynamics of the chain drive, Team FEAR was able to continue the battle.
“The team’s creativity and skill are astounding,” said NMR Consulting President Dave Jones. “NMR is proud to support their work, and looks forward to seeing more from these young innovators.”
The team is already planning for next year’s competition, and is developing ways they can improve upon their design.
About FIRST Robotics
The mission of FIRST Robotics 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. For more information, visit www.firstinspires.org.
About FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an international high school robotics competition. Each year, teams of high school students and mentors work during a six-week period to build game-playing robots that weigh up to 120 pounds. Robots complete tasks such as scoring balls into goals, flying discs into goals, inner tubes onto racks, hanging on bars, and balancing robots on balance beams. The game changes yearly, keeping the excitement fresh and giving each team a more level playing field. While teams are given a standard set of parts, they are also allowed a budget and encouraged to buy or make specialized parts. FRC is one of four robotics competition programs organized by FIRST.