Robotics Competition Set For Rose-Hulman

Posted: Updated:

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will host a high-tech, international competition beginning Thursday in Terre Haute. Nearly four dozen teams from nine states will participate in three-day FIRST Robotics' Crossroads Regional. March 5, 2014

News Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - High School students and their robots will descend upon Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Thursday through Saturday (March 6-8) for FIRST Robotics' Crossroads Regional. Forty-five teams from nine states work together for awards, college scholarships and personal satisfaction in the premier international youth robotics event.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) brings the excitement of a sporting event to science and technology through a robotics competition. Under tight guidelines, limited resources and time restrictions, teams of high-school students build and program robots from a common kit of parts to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Teams measure the effectiveness of their robots and test the power of collaboration during the regional round of the competition.

"This is the sport of the future, and may be the hardest fun game that these kids have ever played," stated FIRST Founder Dean Kamen while visiting last year's Crossroads Regional. He received an honorary doctorate from Rose-Hulman in 2012. "Rose-Hulman has become a true partner in my mission to help young people become scientists and engineers," Kamen said.

This year's game, Aerial Assist, is played by two competing alliances of three robots each on a flat 25 foot-by-54 foot field, straddled by a truss suspended just over five feet above the floor. The objective is to score as many balls in goals as possible during a two-minute and 30-second match. The more alliances score their ball in their goals, and the more they work together to do it, the more points their alliance receives.

"There is nothing else like FIRST Robotics," stated Rose-Hulman President Jim Conwell, who served as a judge at last year's regional. "FIRST is an organization that shares common goals with Rose-Hulman - we both celebrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). We want young people to know that STEM is cool and fun. Rose-Hulman is proud to encourage this by hosting this regional competition."

Rose-Hulman is one of 54 regional host sites to qualify for the FIRST Championship on April 24-26 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. Teams will bring their robots from as far away as Eldersburg, Maryland (Baltimore); Somerville, Alabama (Huntsville); Paola, Kansas (Kansas City) and Brookfield/Sussex, Wisconsin (Milwaukee) to compete in this year's event. A total of 24 Indiana teams are participating, led by defending regional alliance champions Carmel High School (TechHOUNDS) and Indianapolis' Perry Meridian High School (Cyber Blue).

Teams will arrive on Thursday, March 6, and begin practice (10 a.m. to noon; 1-4:30 p.m.) on the competition field in Rose-Hulman’s Sports and Recreation Center. Qualifying rounds are scheduled on Friday, March 7, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-5:45 p.m. Final qualifying matches will be on Saturday, March 8 from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., with alliances being selected from 12:15-12:30 p.m. and final rounds scheduled from 1:30-4:30 p.m. The awards ceremony will follow at 4:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

"We're excited to welcome teams once again to compete in the sport of the mind that uses robots to inspire young people and celebrate engineering," said Crossroads Regional Chair Carlotta Berry, PhD, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rose-Hulman. "Last year's inaugural Crossroads Regional was an overwhelming success and we have planned even more things for the participating students, team mentors, event volunteers and general public. This will be a celebration of creativity and innovation."

Follow news about the Crossroads Regional at www.rose-hulman.edu/crossroads or social media (Facebook: Crossroads Regional; Twitter: @FIRSTCrossroads).

FIRST is supported by three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and will offer more than $19 million in college scholarships this year. An independent study revealed that FIRST alumni are more than twice as likely to have a science- or technology-related career after college and more than three times as likely to pursue a career in engineering.

CROSSROADS REGIONAL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

(All events in Sports and Recreation Center)

THURSDAY, MARCH 6

- 10 a.m.-noon – Practice Rounds, Hulbert Arena

- 1-4:30 p.m. – Practice Rounds, Hulbert Arena

- 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m. – Team Pits Open, Fieldhouse

FRIDAY, MARCH 7

- 8:30-9 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies, Hulbert Arena

- 9 a.m.-noon – Qualification Matches, Hulbert Arena

- 1-5:45 p.m. – Qualification Matches, Hulbert Arena

- 5:45-6:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony, Hulbert Arena

- 8 a.m.-7 p.m. – Team Pits Open, Fieldhouse

SATURDAY, MARCH 8

- 8:30-9 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies, Hulbert Arena

- 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. – Qualification Matches, Hulbert Arena

- 12:15-12:30 p.m. – Alliance Selections

- 1:30-4:30 p.m. – Final Matches, Hulbert Arena

- 4:30-5:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony, Hulbert Arena

- 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. – Team Pits Open, Fieldhouse

Events are free and open to the public; public restrictions around team pit areas in fieldhouse.

Follow the competition at www.rose-hulman.edu/crossroads; https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/195632357279605/, or https://twitter.com/FIRSTCrossroads

BY THE NUMBERS: CROSSROADS REGIONAL

Number of Teams: 45

Total Students: +1,300

Total Mentors/Adult Volunteers: +250

States Represented: 9

(Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Alabama, Maryland, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin)

Indiana Cities Represented:

Anderson: Madison County High Schools

Avon: Avon High School

Bloomington: Bloomington South High School

Carmel: Carmel High School

Columbus: Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.

Crown Point: Crown Point High School

Danville: Danville High School

Hammond: School City of Hammond

Indianapolis: Arsenal Technical High School, Boys & Girls Club of Indianapolis, Bernard McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology (Lawrence Metropolitan School District), Perry Meridian High School, Pike High School, and Walker Career Center (Warren Township School District)

Jasper: Jasper High School

Kokomo: Northwestern High School

Lafayette: McCutcheon High School

Mishawaka: Penn High School

Munster: Munster High School

New Carlisle: New Prairie High School

Petersburg: Pike Central High School

Shelbyville: Shelby County High School

Terre Haute: Vigo County School Corporation

West Lafayette: West Lafayette High School

BY THE NUMBERS: 2014 FIRST ROBOTICS

Founded: 1989 by Innovator Dean Kamen

Total Students: 68,000

Total Teams: 2,720

Scholarships Awarded: $19 million from 900 scholarship opportunities from more than 150 scholarship providers

Total Mentors/Adult Volunteers: +64,000

Total Other Volunteers: +66,000

Number of Regional Events: 54

Source: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology