Robotics have long been the mainstay of factories and labs, but their surge in popularity is evident in our classrooms and homes, too. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, a nonprofit whose mission is to inspire young people, is one reason for this popularity. FIRST brings together more than 65,000 high-school-age students annually to create local robotics teams. The teams build a robot – with the help of professional mentors – with the goal of competing at the FIRST Robotics Championship April 24-27.
Autodesk honors two 2013 FIRST teams: Team 6002 The Basilisks from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica, California; and Team 4488 Shockwave from Glencoe High School in Hillsboro, Oregon as its April Inventor of the Month. Both teams used Autodesk Inventor software to design their award-winning robots and successfully advance to the world championship.
The Basilisks, Shockwave, and hundreds of other FIRST Robotic teams receive free access to Autodesk software via the Autodesk Education Community, which provides students and educators with everything from personal design apps to professional-grade software. By leveraging the powerful modeling capabilities within Inventor, along with the knowledge of Autodesk employee mentors, both teams were able to finalize their robots while saving time and materials costs.
Photo above shows some members of Team 6002 The Basilisks and team mentor Kjersti Chippindale (far right).
Video animation of Team Basilisks robot (brilliant design, but the team could have used a little help with spelling of captions—a couple of glaring typos detract from the overall good impression):