College Robotic Competition To Be Launched at 2009 VEX Robotics World Championship

Innovation First, which produces educational and competitive robotics products, has announced the pilot season for the VEX Robotics Competition College Challenge. The competition will pit students from up to 36 colleges and universities against each other, all vying to become the inaugural world champion. The company already hosts competitive robotic events for middle and high school students, in which school teams build a robot and put it through specific paces. The new tournament will take place at the VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas from April 30 to May 2, 2009.

"We're very excited to integrate our new College Challenge into the 2009 VEX Robotics World Championship," said Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition for Innovation First. "Many colleges already use the VEX Robotics Design System in their academic programs and this provides a forum for students to test their engineering skills against their peers."

Teams will be playing the VEX Robotics game Elevation, but with some modified rules to let the college teams take their robots to a new level of complexity and performance. Elevation is played on a 12-foot by 12-foot square field. Two alliances--one "red" and one "blue"--composed of two teams each, compete in each match which consists of a 20-second autonomous period followed by two minutes of driver-controlled robot play. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opponent alliance by placing cubes into goals and by "owning" goals by having the highest cube in a given goal. Points can also be earned by "parking" a robot on the platform or by "controlling" a bonus cube.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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