On January 4, 2014, MORE Robotics, Team 1714, kicked off the 2014 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition build season upon the release of this year’s game, Aerial Assist. This year’s competition is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many balls into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 30-second match. The balls are approximately two foot in diameter like an exercise ball. Additional points are scored if the alliance partners can successfully pass the ball between teammates prior to scoring. The robots weigh up to 150 pounds and can be as large as 28 inches wide by 28 inches long by five feet tall. Teams are given just six weeks to design, build, prototype and program their robot to participate in the annual competition.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an annual competition that helps students discover the rewards and excitement of science, engineering, and technology. More than 67,000 students on 2,700 teams from throughout the world will take part in the annual competition, competing in nearly 100 events throughout the United States and Canada, all with the hope of qualifying for the World Championship in St. Louis in late April.
This year’s team looks to build on its past successes which have included qualifying for the World Championship in each of the last eight years. The team focused this year’s efforts on designing and building the robot in just five weeks allowing the team time to practice with the robot. At the end of the build season, the team “locks” the robots in bags and are not allowed to touch, alter or use their robots until they arrive at an event. This year the team will compete at the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth Minnesota on March 7th and 8th and the Wisconsin Regional to be held at the US Cellular Arena on March 21st and 22nd. Admission is free to the events and non-participants are encouraged to attend.
MORE Robotics was founded to give grade school and high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”) an opportunity to learn about careers in these areas and to encourage them to pursue careers in the science and engineering fields. The team targets students who attend schools in Southeastern Milwaukee County that do not have a robotics club and who do not have an opportunity to experience FIRST. The team encourages personal growth and promotes self-confidence and leadership skills in a team setting similar to school athletic programs. Students are challenged to do their best and are celebrated for their skills in robot designing, building, and competition while learning gracious professionalism.
MORE Robotics is supported by local companies and universities. Sponsors include Hollow Steel, Ladish Foundation, Caterpillar, Siemens, Dedicated Computing, QuadTech, Rockwell Automation, Joy Global, Nucor, Symbiont, Renesas, Boyle Fredrickson, MSOE, PPG, MGIC, Vilter, American Acrylics USA LLC, and Thomas More High School. Additional information about MORE Robotics can be found by visiting the team website: www.morerobotics.org.