FIRST Robotics Competition 

2007 Kickoff Transcript

>> In keeping with those values, FIRST highest award is not about machine, it's not about people.
It's about groups of people.
The ultimate FIRST prize is the Chairman's Award.
It goes to that team which exemplifies partnership.
In fact, teams that have won the Chairman's Award are our role models for all of you for transforming the culture into one that honors science and technology.
To celebrate the success of our Chairman's Award teams, 15 teams have earned the right to be induced into the FIRST hall of fame.
The hall of fame teams remain active in our cause and serve as examples for the rest of us to follow.
The team that wins the Chairman's Award is now also given a rare opportunity to work with Hollywood producer Paul Lazarus on a video about the team.
Each year the Chairman's Award winning team is given a broadcast quality video camera for a few months to capture some of the team's activities and then Paul and his team edit the footage to make a wonderful record of their accomplishment.
This past season, team 111, from Schaumburg, Illinois, WildStang, won.
We look forward to seeing their video in Atlanta.
2005 was General Motors.
>> Who is hot, we are hot.
Who is hot, we are hot.
>> The Chairman's Award 2005.
>> Let's celebrate the heroes of tomorrow.
>> Team 67, the hot team, General Motors and Huron Valley schools.
>> What makes a hero?
Fancy tights?
Hitting it out of the park?
Defeating the forces of evil?
Ask Dean Kamen.
>> Heroes are people that do extraordinary things, hopefully to make the world a better place for the people around them.
The at FIRST, our heroes are the Chairman's Award winners.
>> Who is hot, we are hot.
>> 67 puts the pedal to the metal with dedicated parents, teachers, engineers and long time sponsor General Motors.
>> To work at GM is an interesting thing.
We got into the proving grounds.
>> I couldn't hire engineers and technicians, they were not there.
And now General Motors runs 42 teams and you can really get outstanding engineers that we are so desperately short of.
>> Who's hot, we're hot?
>> Team 67 has a very dynamic relationship with the community.
Involved with local businesses, road clean-ups, river clean-ups, we are really out there in terms of being in the community and being visible.
>> Like wildfire, the heroes of tomorrow spread the word.
>> Our community service robot, we didn't want it to be scary for little kids.
We actually just learned how to make a balloon animal so we could give them to little kids and everything.
It was really great.
>> I proudly display a little LEGO judge's award.
On top of the judge's award is the hot team cap.
And believe me, it has spurred a lot of imagination among state is -- senators.
>> We give out awards to encourage team spirit and engineering.
>> A team lost a sponsorship and needed help getting started.
>> They had open arms, accepted us in, and let us in to where they were building their own robot.
>> Built it in nine days.
>> Who is hot, we are hot.
>> Heroes of tomorrow.
Share what they know.
>> Pass on what you know from robotics to younger students.
We set up for the Michigan State LEGO League competition.
>> FIRST has contributed to encouraging women to go into engineering because a lot of the young women who see other women who are engineers helping out.
It lets them know if they can do it, I can do it.
>> Who is hot, we are hot.
>> I have seen kids that have come back to me in later years and said if it weren't for being on this team, I would be selling burgers and flipping fries right now.
Instead I'm working on an engineering degree.
That's the kinds of stuff that makes a hero and heroes are not just on team 67, they're on all the teams out there in FIRST.
>> Who is hot?
>> We're hot.
>> Who's hot?
We're hot.
>> How you feeling?
Hot hot hot.
>> How you feeling?
Hot hot hot.
>> How you feeling?
Hot hot hot.
>> Go.
>> It's hot.
>> Please welcome back FIRST president Paul Gudonis.
>> Well, what a year this has been.
Since I joined FIRST a year ago, I have witnessed a celebration of achievement and teamwork all across this country.
Each of you, students, teachers, mentors, judges, sponsors, each is doing a terrific job working together to create excitement for science, technology and innovation.
During my travels I met incredible people.
Team 1868, an all girls team whose space cookies inside this giant NASA hangar looking at the trajectory.
Another all girls team, the Green Grinches, who had these words.
Whoever said may the best man win never asked a girl to play, on their banner.
In Texas, a team from Mexico city made a special trip to participate in the regional FIRST Vex Challenge.
And costumes during the dance of the mascots.
And at the FIRST championship in Atlanta, greeted in 15 languages.
And who could forget the example of gracious professionalism during the final round of the FRC championship when one team provided a critical part to the other alliance.
It's a tremendous honor to be part of this FIRST community.
Before you see this year's challenge, I want to give you an update on the FIRST programs.
A record year, a total of 11,850 teams across all of our programs.
This year over 130,000 students are going to participate thanks to the support of 45,000 volunteers who make FIRST happen.
I would like to make a special welcome to the rookie teams, and to the veteran teams, welcome back and thank you for your gracious professionalism in recruiting and mentoring a record number of rookie teams this year.
Our middle school program, the FIRST LEGO League is also growing strongly.
This year over 9,000 teams from 45 countries participated in the 2006 Nano Quest Challenge where they explored science and created innovations at the molecular level.
Here is a quick look.
>> First, in partnership with the LEGO group, real world challenges for teams of children 9-14 for the FIRST LEGO League.
This year they worked with nano technology to see how it enhances existing technologies and provided solutions never thought possible.
Since mid-September, 90,000 children joined the FIRST LEGO League Challenge.
Teams researchched applications and nano technology and then shared findings with communities and a panel of judges.
Teams discover the world of individual atoms, where much is considered part of ordinary conversation.
Through this cutting edge field of research, teams unlocked the secrets of everyday items and delved into today's nano technology applications with nine missions, including a test for stain res at that -- resistant clothing, and deploying smart medicine.
Teams activated a space elevator.
By identifying challenges and creatively applying the nano technology research of today, students designed solutions with one goal in mind.
Improving our quality of life.
Solving problems, and inspiring change.
>> Congratulations to our first LEGO League to a tremendous season.
Also a very exciting development for FIRST LEGO League this year.
The team that wins the festival champion award, will win a trip to San Jose, California.
Touring the center and meeting IBM fellow Don Eiler.
They will demonstrate the robot for the scientists.
And they will be able to manipulate atoms and build their own atomic structures.
We are excited to see which FLL team will get to go.
You know there are younger perspective teams out there?
Over 700 teams studied nano technology alongside the FFL teams.
They showed off at 32 junior expos.
Mentoring the teams, and taking on the challenge of running their events in the Expos.
Your efforts make a tremendous difference and I really want to thank you for the FRC teams.
After a very successful pilot last year we have expanded the FIRST Vex Challenge with new partners and locations around the country and teams have started building robots hanging around local tournaments.
Last year's challenge, the half pipe hustle, involved a half a dozen tournaments across the country with the leading teams invited to the championship in Atlanta.
This year we have a FIRST program to even more schools and students.
Let's take a quick look at the FIRST Vex Challenge.
>> The FIRST Vex Challenge.
A whole new level of learning fun.
5,000 students on 500 teams.
27 events across North America and at the first championship, sharing the excitement and rewards of science, technology, and engineering.
The challenge is revealed every September during the online kick-off.
Teams brainstorm a strategy and then program, build, and test their robots.
The FVC 2006 challenge, hanging around.
They score points in high or low goals.
Possessing a large Atlas ball doubles the points.
And parking on a rotating platform or hanging from a structure gets the score higher.
Teams compete for a variety of awards including engineering, design excellence, competitive play, sportsmanship, and high impact partnerships between schools, businesses, and community.
FIRST Vex Challenge.
Motivates students to learn science, math and technology.
Implements classroom learning.
Inspires new ideas and concepts.
Promotes teamwork.
Collaboration, and mentorship through hands-on learning.
Drive students to excel.
Are you ready for the challenge?
>> I would like to thank the FRC teams that have mentored FIRST Vex Challenge teams in your areas.
It will enable more students to discover the excitement of science, technology and engineering.
Now I would like to switch our focus to another group of essential volunteers, the team leaders and mentors.
We at FIRST know how much work and time is involved in supporting any team, especially an FRC team.
There is so much more to this than just building a robot.
This is a complex exercise in project management, in creativity, perseverance, and we thank all of you for taking part and changing the lives of the kids involved and indeed helping to make the next generation stronger and able to meet the challenges ahead.
Just simply would not happen without you.
I would like to share with you a couple of brief stories from the past year.
These stories are just a couple examples from the thousands of lives that you as a FIRST mentor or team leader touch and change every year.
These are the stories of three students from the WildStang team sponsored by Motorola.
Graduated in June 2006 from Rolling Meadows high school in Illinois, and they know Dan Green, their team mentor, was an invaluable con try but tore to their success.
Tim sy -- Syoen attends southern Illinois University, majoring in mechanical engineering.
The scholarship greatly alleviated the burden of college tuition for his mother and him.
Tiffany Gach never intended to have anything to do with it.
But her brother had been on a team.
She became a four-year team member of WildStang and leader of the electrical team.
Now Tiffany is attending Western Michigan University majoring in software and electrical engineering.
Kelli VanAntwerp was also a four-year member of the WildStang.
A leader of the video team and attends Columbia College in Chicago, majoring in documentary television and media arts.
Over the years nine WildStang team members have been hired by Motorola as interns and graduated from college, and hired as Motorola engineers, and then most are mentors for WildStang.
These stories represents what happens everywhere there is a FIRST team and a committed group of teammates and mentors.
So please join me in thanking all the mentors of all the FIRST teams deeply, sincerely and often.
Let's kick off the season with a standing ovation wherever you are watching this broadcast, to all of our mentors and team leaders.
>> Thank you.
That is wonderful.
Thank you mentors and team leaders.
I have some other exciting news about the process that you and mentors and team leaders and all the team members are about to undertake.
A book called "FIRST robots behind the design" will be released at this year's championship in Atlanta.
It features 30 from the FIRST 2006 robotics competition.
It describes how teams progress from the initial ideas to the completed robots.
The publisher of the book, rockport.
Teams are invited to submit documentation that will be reviewed for publication.
A complete book of the process is completed in the award section of the 2007 FRC manual.
So your chances to be included in the 2007 book are a function of your team's ability to document your work, so take lots of pictures and notes during the next six weeks.
I have seen preview chapters of this book.
It's beautiful, informative, and definitely first class.
Now, I know folks are interested in learning which teams are profiled in the 2006 book.
Well, in true FIRST kick-off fashion, we are going to keep that under wraps until the book is published and released at the championship in April in Atlanta.
Finally, I want to encourage you to have a lot of fun as you design and build and compete with your robots.
I also want you to be safe during every step of your journey here.
You are about to create big, fast moving machines and we at FIRST take safety very seriously.
We are very grateful to Underwriters Laboratories, the ultimate brand name in safety for the safety program they have created for FIRST.
Please learn from your safety advisors and your fellow team members.
We are also grateful to auto desk, with CAD software and Max animation software.
They helped us highlight an aspect of safety.
This year's winner is Team 375, Robotic Plague, please join me in watching this video and then I'll see you at the regional competitions or in Atlanta.
Good luck and have a lot of fun.
>> Hi, I'm Phillip the first aid kit.
It can get dangerous in the workshop.
You should take all safety precautions.
Keep your work area clean and organized.
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire breaks out.
Have safety goggles and gloves at hand and always remember to have a first aid kit ready in case needed.
Hi, Bill.
What's up?
>> Nothing, just hanging out.
>> James, have a successful build season and remember to keep yourselves surrounded by safety.
>> Please welcome long time FIRST friend, FIRST executive advisory board member and senior vice president and chief engineer of New York City Transit Authority Connie Crawford.
>> Good morning.
Good morning.
As you know, engineers are heavily involved in transportation.
We design and build trains, planes, automobiles and even segues.
We also design and build the infrastructure that supports transportation.
Highways, bridges, airport, and in the Subway business, Subway tunnels, railroad tracks, signal systems, communication networks, maintenance shops and so forth.
In fact, New York City transit we have a capital program of over $2 billion a year to keep the trains and buses running in New York.
That takes a lot of engineers.
We have over 1,600 engineers, architects and professionals to make they run in New York.
They work hard every day but have great fun, solving problems every day just as you do in the FIRST competition and they know the work they do is vital because without the subways and buses in New York the city would come to a standstill.
Where do we get our engineers?
We get them from colleges.
And FIRST aligns itself with over 70 corporations and Universities to provide $7.5 million a year in scholarships for students.
Arizona State, Boston University, Drexel, Georgia tech, ITT, MIT, University of New Hampshire, and others.
In fact, this year FIRST would like to recognize WPI.
It provided the first scholarship for FIRST students 11 years ago.
And in fact, they continue.
WPI continues with this innovative leadership.
Just yesterday they provided a live webcast of the rookie workshop to share with everyone.
After you go to college, well actually first you want to look on the web page if you are interested in those scholarships.
You can find out about them on the FIRST web page.
After you go to college, you get to go out and work as an engineer, doing great stuff.
It's fun work, it's interesting challenges, and it's vital to making this world run.
So I wish the best of luck to all of you, have fun out there.
Thank you.
>> Please welcome FIRST founder Dean Kamen.
>> Greetings.
Greetings. So, some things never change, some things always change.
What's not changed is we are out of control.
And that's a great thing.
You heard we have over 11,000 teams, things are going great around here and around the world.
I only have a few minutes and instead of, as you know, I can talk.
I'm going to try to keep to two very specific simple things.
As usual, the last one of which will be a homework assignment.
We need more help.
And it's up to all of you and the people around the world now involved in FIRST to do that.
The first one, though, is to try once again to make sure we never forget what we are really doing here.
FIRST is not about building robots.
That's going to be hard for most of you to believe when for the next six weeks you don't eat or sleep because of robots, but please every speaker so far has made some illusion to it, but I want to remind all of you that FIRST got started for a simple reason.
We have a culture that gets what it celebrates.
We are a free culture and even kids are free to do what they want.
And we celebrate extraordinarily well the world of sports and entertainment, and I think we do it so well we sometimes forget that those things are not the source of our wealth, they are a result of it.
Our wealth as security, health care, lights are on, the water is drinkable, the planes fly, your cars are affordable, safe, clean.
All of that stuff happens, we take it for granted, it happens because of an incredible scientists and engineers in every generation have raised the bar, the concept of living.
In the media age the concept has gotten lost.
15 years ago we decided the sports model is so powerful for creating passion and getting kids to celebrate and focus on something, we said let's use that model to help give kids an opportunity to see what really is important.
And to make science and engineering and technology seem every bit as accessible and rewarding and real, particularly to the women and minorities the culture has decided they don't want to do this, we have cheated them.
The purpose of the model and the purpose of the sport is not about the robot.
It's a way to build something much more important.
Relationships between the mentors, and the kids, giving kids an opportunity to see an aspect of life, potential careers that they would never ever ever get to actually see when they are young enough to make decisions, and to decide where to put their time and their energy and their passion.
We have 45,000 engineers and scientists and technicians that volunteer time.
We have a few dozen people that work full-time in FIRST, a few dozen.
We have 37 cities holding regionals.
It's like we have about one full-time employee per New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle.
This whole program works because it's volunteer-driven, it's driven by the passion of the technology community that in part for its own enlightened self-interest needs to create the next generation of leaders and in ven -- inventors and creators.
Because they are responsible citizens and parents and teachers.
This whole program works because everybody cares so much to do something extra, and they do it for the kids and I think they keep doing it because every year the kids continue to live up to our standards of gracious professionalism.
The kids continue to prove that if you give somebody good advice and an opportunity they'll seize it.
And it will make a difference.
So I'm begging all of the mentors that no matter how exciting and intense the competitions are getting, like other sports, one day we will be the sport, the 21st century sport that's part of the culture everywhere.
I'm begging all of you to remember we have a much bigger set of goals to keep at the front of our mind all the time, than when your robot wins or loses.
Some of the robots will lose.
Some of them won't even run.
But all of the participants should be winners, they will be winners if we keep track of what's really important.
So my first message is just for all of you veterans, it's the booster shot.
First is an extraordinary group of people doing an extraordinary thing, lets not ever lower our standards or forget why we do this.
And for the students, I remind all of you, we don't want any of the trappings of sports that frankly are an embarrassment or inappropriate for things as important as what we are doing here and helping create the next generation of people that will determine the fate of the world.
So, as usual I have my homework.
My homework has typically been over 15 years more sponsors, more kids, more teachers, more engineers.
I still want all of that.
But as you all know, I'm never satisfied.
Most of our board is very happy, we went from 28 teams to 11,000 teams.
We went in the FIRST Robotics Competition from 28 teams to 1,300.
By almost any standard, including typical growth of business, that's a very, very impressive record.
It's not good enough.
And the reason it's not good enough is a generation of high school students is only four years.
So it's taken us three generations plus there's another 22,000 high schools just in the United States where kids don't have an opportunity to participate.
We need to grow much faster.
We are also reaching the limit of the way you can grow when you do it retail one sponsor at a time, one new school at a time, one teacher at a time.
I think if you used the model of businesses we have had our early adopters, we have had the courageous venture capitalists, the early board most of whom are still with us and the early sponsors.
Now I look out and say if the original goal was change the culture of the United States so as we continue to get what we celebrate, we are going to celebrate the right things and we are going to get more of it.
It's team to really figure out how to make FIRST part of the broad culture of the country.
So in addition to always looking for more sponsor, more teachers, more students, I think we need to reach outside the technical community, outside the University engineering schools and the technology companies and start attracting the attention, the broad attention of the people that do create the culture of the country.
Our political leaders, our cultural leaders across the country and the goal is from 1,300 FRC teams to 13,000 way faster than it got us here because we are in a race between knowledge and catastrophe, and I think the only way we can get that far out is to reach out to the general public, to the leadership of our country.
They all have the bully pulpits. And so my very specific request this year, the beginning of the season is the time to do it, every student, every mentor, every sponsor, you all have a senator or two.
You all have a congressman.
You all have a Governor.
We all have a president.
I'm asking every one of you to write to these people, call these people and say we have an unbelievable program.
It's been around 15 years.
We have taken out the risk, we have taken out the bugs, it works.
We have proved it's scalable.
An unbelievable impact.
Incredibly cost effective and you need it.
The country needs it and the world needs it.
You need to support us and the best way, Governor Lingle said it best to me yesterday, she said Dean what you're telling me is you have to show them, not tell them.
Because seeing all of you, seeing the kids, seeing the competition speaks for itself better than even I could.
So, you are going to specifically go to all of these people, your senators -- you're going to invite them to come to a regional.
There's no excuse why they can't do it.
Eight, nine, ten regionals in March.
You are going to invite these people to the championship in Atlanta April 13, 14.
You are going to send us a copy of your invitation, that's how I'll know you did your job.
And it's going to be a gracious introduction that you are going to make to them, and a gracious invitation.
And we are going to publish the best ones on our web site.
And you're going to send us all of the answers.
And we are going to publish those, too.
Do they get it?
Do they care?
Are they coming?
And if they don't answer, I'm going to publish that also.
That's going to be really entertaining.
They're your officials, they're our leaders, they should be representing us and what's important.
We can't blame them for not supporting us if they don't know we are here.
We have been extraordinarily good until now creating the program, building a credibility and talking within the technical community and the technical colleges.
It's now time to be bigger.
We are ready for primetime.
We ought to get them this, and then I think we don't want to be in 36 regional cities, we want to be in every city, every school.
Because every kid deserves an opportunity to make intelligent choices about careers.
Everybody does.
We ought to do that.
So please do that homework.
And to prove to you, by the way, that I don't ask you to do anything I don't do, I got a call from a Governor, not my own Governor who you just heard from, who is a committed Governor, I got a call from a Governor that's a little further away, from Hawaii a few weeks ago.
And she, like all the people that helped get FIRST started, the early group of venture people that are willing to take risk of something new, she's one of the small group that gets it.
She can help spread the word.
I had my conversation with her, I hope I was gracious in my invitation to her, I said we need you, you need us.
Why don't you just jump in a plane, travel for 15 hours, leave Hawaii and come to New Hampshire, see what FIRST is all about and help us get the Governors to get involved and support us.
And so she came.
And I am very proud to introduce you to somebody who really gets it.
Governor Lingle from Hawaii.
>> Thank you, thank you very much.
Thank you.
Thank you very much, Dean.
Good morning and aloha.
>> Aloha.
>> Dean, your invitation was very gracious.
Everyone connected with FIRST practices gracious professionalism.
I wanted to put my remarks into two parts today.
First to talk to the mentors and sponsors and let you know that you are doing so much more than just helping a group of students, although you are clearly doing that.
You are helping the world be a better place by helping these future leaders, by committing yourself and your time.
When you are there and you are working, week after week on your project, when you are at your regional, when you are in the pit at the championship, maybe thinking about the competition and the robots at that time, but what you are really doing is helping the world to be a better place.
And as a mentor, you are a key to this entire organization and to the future of our world.
Because, as you saw in the earlier video, the hot video, these are the heroes are tomorrow but I think more importantly, students, you are the hope of tomorrow.
You are the hope that will cure the diseases that have confounded scientists for decades.
You are the hope that we'll be able to produce clean drinking water so that young people in countries all over the world have a chance to grow up the way you grow up, healthy and strong.
You truly are the hope of tomorrow.
Students, I want to thank you for participate in FIRST and I want to ask you when your days are over in FIRST as a competitor, you never forget what this organization did for you, that you come back as a mentor or sponsor when you are leading a big company, which I know many of you will be, because truly you will be this country's future leaders.
And students, when I look at you and have a chance to talk with you as I have over the past couple of days, you make me optimistic about the future.
I know the future is bright.
When we have leaders such as yourself stepping forward to do something important, something special, and in this case something fun all at the same time.
So have a great season at FIRST.
Thanks for letting me be a part of it.
Mahalo. [APPLAUSE]
>> Please welcome Dave Lavery, NASA executive for solar system exploration.
>> Thank you.
Just a couple of comments very quickly and we'll talk a little bit about hardware.
There's been several mentions already this morning about the role of the mentors and some comments directed at the mentors.
I would like to make a comment to the students with that regard.
A little while ago the FIRST board asked me to take a look to find out what sort of programs were out there doing things similar to what FIRST was trying to accomplish, or it sounded waive.
I -- sounded that way.
There are 82 programs available to high school or undergraduate students.
Take the kits apart, take the problem, and do it in a certain time period, have them come back and show you what they D. there is one out of 82 that is different, FRC.
That one that says take a kit apart, a bunch of students, a period of time, send them in the corner but send them off in the corner with a bunch of mentors, experienced professional, engineers, scientists, tech no -- tech nologists, and understanding how to think through the process and let them work together as a team, and understanding how a professional thinks and problem solves as part of the process of the robotics competition.
That one factor is huge, and sets this entire program apart.
My comment is directed at students.
Take advantage of the opportunity you are being given.
You can go a lot of other places and build robots.
You can't go anywhere else and have an opportunity to sit side-by-side with an experienced mentor and learn from them the process of professional quality engineering science and technology, but more important than that, how they think.
That's what we want you to experience and take away from the program.
The numbers rack up in a fun way.
Over the course of the next six weeks you'll spend 4.2 million brain hours taking apart the problem we are going to give you.
4.2 million brain hours.
Having fun, being passionate, thinking about what you want to do, having a great experience, focusing on something important.
4.2 million hours of brain power.
Changing the culture of the United States.
Changing the culture of the world.
4.2 million hours of brain power, doing something that has meaning.
4.2 million hours of brain power, and not a single one will be wasted on an irrelevant question like what the hell is Paris Hilton doing right now.
So, what are you going to spend the 4.2 million hours doing?
It's coming, it's coming.
Talk about three things very quickly.
First off, two things you are not going to get in the kit, but are available to you this year if you need them.
First off, we heard a lot of complaints and comments and requests over the past years from two particular groups.
One is the Macintosh users out there.
Mac users.
As of this year, you can download things like the parallel software, it will allow you to run not just the development tools we will give you but the development chip software runs on mac.
Intel processors.
It loads, you are in the game now, too.
Second thing I want to mention, a little piece of hardware, again, not in the kit, however it's available to the teams that want to make use of it.
One of the things you have requested for a long time is the ability to use USB-based controllers to interface with the RB controllers.
We have listened to you.
Worked with innovation FIRST and with FIRST to develop the USB chicklet.
It plugs into the operator interface on one side, a serial port, and the other side a USB connection that allows you to take something like the Game Boy controller to control the robot.
No longer limited to just the flight sticks you used to get in the kit.
It's an option.
It's not included in the kit but we have written the rules, these are legal devices that can be included.
This is now the only device other than the operator interface itself that is allowed to be powered at the operator's console at the player's station.
These are available in the web store as well and you can make use of those.
The third thing I want to mention, I'll walk over here, is as you might be able to tell, the camera system is back.
Pulling up and running.
One of the things the camera system will do, using the software that's downloadable directly from the first web site links posted, straight out of the box, software that can be downloaded, camera set will identify and track a green target light.
Look over my shoulder, the display is updated as I track from one side to the other, its scanning and keeping the target in range, and you can see the red laser dot where it's actually targeting and pointing at the moment.
It provides pan and tilt information that gives me distance and heading information you can use to track your location relative to the current light.
It also says number of targets.
It can track more than one target.
I have no idea why you would want to have that capability.
But the other thing it can do with that information and realtime, if you have pan and tilt information, very simple geometry, I can figure out knowing heights of the target and the camera, the distance and the robot frame of reference to where the target may be.
Again, to multiple targets.
Don't know why.
That's just a couple of the things you will find.
And the basic capability is compatible with the lab, and some versions b available through the web site, and also others are compatible with the problem as well.
Take those, extend it, or use it right out of the box and the capability is there for you to use.
What I would like to do is introduce the FIRST congressional representative who has been able to convince his entire state to have the FIRST robotics program installed in every high school of the state.
Please welcome congressman Jim Langeman from Rhode Island.
>> Thank you much.
>> Thank you.
Thank you.
Well, good morning everyone.
Are you excited about FIRST 2007?
All right.
Well, I am, too, and I am thrilled to be here today with Dean Kamen and Governor Lingle from Hawaii, and most especially with all of you, the mentors, the staff, the volunteers, but most especially the students of FIRST.
You are what this is all about.
FIRST encourages our young people to go into the field of math, science, and engineering.
It's an exciting program that helps you explore your gifts, your talents, and your dreams.
I believe that each and every one of the students that are involved in this program, and really in all throughout the world, limited only by the bounds of their own imagination.
We want to encourage you to explore that imagination, particularly as it relates to math, science and engineering.
As Governor Lingle and others have stated that much of the world's problems today could be solved through exploring math and science and engineering.
Some of our most challenging problems.
So we are relying on you, the next generation, this generation and the next, to improve the world around us.
We all have that obligation to do that.
We need more support for these fields.
And that's what really FIRST is all about.
It's growing interest in math and science and engineering.
I'm hoping and expecting that road island is going to be the first state in the country to have a FIRST program in every school in our state.
I know Hawaii is actually doing the same thing.
So it's a little competition right now between Rhode Island and Hawaii.
But that's okay.
Competition is a great thing, right?
Now it's our obligation to try to get all the states in between Rhode Island and Hawaii on opposite ends of the country to be involved in this program as well, and further support math, science and engineering.
So I'm going to conclude my remarks with a challenge.
I want to echo what Dean asked us to do a little while ago.
That is to let your members of Congress, your senators, representatives, know about your interest and support for FIRST in math, science, engineering and how important it is for the country.
Here is your homework assignment.
By the end of next week, each and every student and mentor, parent, volunteer, supporter of FIRST, you need to find out who your member of Congress is.
Your congressman and your senator.
And by the end of the following week you need to have either a phone call, letter or email in to that senator or representative letting them know about the program and inviting them to the regional and the national.
That's your assignment, that's your challenge.
I'm going to do my part in working to educate my colleagues in the United States Congress about FIRST and your interest and your involvement in supporting math, science and engineering.
But they are going to listen more to you than they are to me because you are their constituents.
They -- they represent you.
So we are relying on you to get the word out.
Are you ready to do your homework?
Are you ready to do that?
Well, we say all the members of the United States Congress, the regionals or the nationals, we'll know you did your job and they did theirs.
This is a partnership and we are counting on you to follow through.
Have a great year.
I look forward to seeing you at the regionals and the nationals.
It's a great year for FIRST 2007.
Thank you very much.
>> Please welcome FIRST national advisor, Woodie Flowers.
>> Good morning.
Good morning all.
We are getting close, but please, in particular, the rookies to whom I will speak more directly, please hang with me for a minute.
So if I could make you an offer that says you can either have a great experience with the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition, or you could be rich and famous, which do you think you would take?
Well, I think I know the answer but there was a survey, youth around the world, and by a huge margin being rich and famous was regarded as more important.
Actually, that's the wrong answer.
There's been a whole bunch of studies that make it very clear that neither money nor fame makes you happy.
So can I make an argument that FRC 2007 will make you happy?
In fact, there's a very good chance that it will.
How is that?
Well, you're smart enough to know that you should be intimidated by what you face.
You are looking at a really big, really hard problem.
It's multi-disciplinary.
People, robots, schedules, team dynamics.
If you do all that well, you will learn a very important thing.
You will learn that you deserve high self-esteem.
In fact, you learn that you deserve the right kind of self-esteem, sociologists are having discussion about arrogance and false pride and pound founded in insecurity.
The real stuff, the stuff that I think is really important is what people like Nathaniel Brandon identify.
Please listen carefully to his definition of self-esteem.
Disposition to experience one's self as being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness.
It is confidence in the efficacy of our minds, in our ability to think, by extension, it is confident in our ability to learn, make appropriate choices and decisions, and respond effectively to change.
It is also the experience that success, achievement, fulfillment, and happiness are right and natural for us.
The survival value of such confidence is obvious.
So is the danger when it is missing.
Self-esteem is not euphoria or something that comes that may be temporarily induced by a drug, compliment or love affair.
It's not illusion or hallucination.
If it is not grounded in reality, or built over time by the appropriate operation of mind, it is not self-esteem.
That's exactly what FIRST is about.
You are going to set out to build a robot, but some magic is going to happen along the way.
You set a goal.
You are going to build a fancy, powerful, autonomous robot from nothing, from scratch, in six weeks.
And along the way you are going to learn stuff that you never thought you were going to learn.
You are going to work with mentors who are giving a huge amount of their time and who know a lot about the process.
You are going to do cutting edge technology.
Some of you are going to program robots to interpret vision systems.
Some of you are going to make precise parts with elegant machine tools.
Some of you are going to make precise enough parts with a hammer, a hacksaw and a file.
You are going to learn to manage teams work.
I hope all of you will learn to appreciate others' unique skills.
Do marketing plans, you will raise money, the list goes on.
But many of you, the ones of you who put your heart in to what you are doing will change your self-image.
You will come to believe that you can do stuff, that you can do hard stuff.
You can do stuff that involves nature, like machines and electronics, and people, and believe me, that is a really big deal.
Now, you cannot know that you can do stuff without experience.
Your brain is too smart.
It simply will assume if you haven't done it you are going to remain not a doer.
I believe that FIRST is one of the cheapest opportunities you will ever have to learn that you're competent in a fast game.
Now let's go over that linkage.
If you know you can do people will ask you to do more.
You, in turn, will learn more, so you can do more.
That is a win/win.
Society gets things done and you get the satisfaction, the deep satisfaction of knowing that you're in the game.
Being in the game, folks, will make your heart sing a lot more than money or fame.
Now, I'm not arguing that obscurity or poverty is the right thing, but I am saying that being in the game so you can have a meaningful life is much better than being rich and famous.
There is some good news, a lot of people that are rich and famous happen to be that way because they are competent and trustworthy.
And if they are happy, it's most likely because of what they're able to contribute, not because of what they have.
You are launching into a hard, fun project that I think is the right mix.
It's high-tech.
All the world's problems need technology for their solution.
Mother nature applies all of her rules all the time.
She'll be the unflinching arbitor of whether what you do works.
Also immersed into a social environment and believe me, if you learn to work better with people, that will serve you for the rest of your life.
You will do all that in the context of gracious professionalism.
For the next six weeks or the rest of your life, if you behave in a way that would make your grandmother happy if she were watching all the time, you'll be doing very well and you'll have more self-esteem.
And that is much better than being rich and famous.
So, from all that advice about the goals of FIRST, let's get down to some of the details in particular, for a look at an important aspect of this year's game, let's hear from our head referee, Dr. Aidan Browne.
>> Increasing amount of agregious behavior that occurs on the field, the red and yellow card system is a new tool for the referees.
>> When a team exhibits over the loo*ipb behavior -- over the line behaviorlike the Wendy bot, the yellow card will be remained with them through the competition ladder.
During each of the future matches, they'll have a yellow flag to remind them, the live partners, and the referees that they are carrying a yellow card.
If they receive another yellow card in a future match, it will automatically become a red card, which will disqualify them from the match.
The team will continue to carry their yellow card into subsequent matches.
>> FIRST hopes all teams play in the spirit of the competition.
And the red card never needs to be used.
>> Okay.
Now so we hope that will help.
Another thing we tried to explain in the manual this year, we are delighted that from special manufacturers you can buy components to make the robots better.
In the extreme, however, it's very clear that if you could buy a series of $399 parts that you simply bolt together and that is your robot, that would not be in the spirit of FIRST.
So please pay attention to the part of the manual that explains where that division is.
We had a great year last year and a lot of the things that were available to you were wonderful, they really helped.
But be careful about rule beaters that tried to create a group of parts that get barely under cost limits so you simply bolt them together.
So now let's meet the guys who make all this happen, please meet the game design committee.
>> Dr. Aidan Browne.
Bill Miller.
Tony Norman.
Kate Pilotte.
Jeremy Roberts.
And Dean, Dave and Woodie.
>> Ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 FIRST Robotics Competition game.
Three, two, one, zero!
>> So, the game has some very subtle points this year.
Let's learn more about it.
>> Welcome to the FIRST Robotics Competition and this year's game, rack and roll.
The game is played by two alliances, a red alliance and blue alliance of three teams each.
The alliances are located at the end of the field from where they operate their robots.
The center of the field is occupied by the scoring structure known as the rack.
Three levels of scoring locations known as fighters are located within the rack.
Each spider hangs from a series of chains that allows it to move freely if it's impacted by a robot or game piece.
The game pieces are inflatable plastic pool tubes.
Keepers are placed during the autonomous period.
Ringers are placed during the teleoperated period.
And the black spoiler tubes are used to negate the ringers.
Objective, place the keepers and the ringers into rows, either horizontal or vertical.
It starts with a 15 second autonomous period.
Robots can use on-board sensors to help locate the scoring targets.
Robots must drop any keepers in their possession.
Human operators step forward and take control of the robots.
Robots return to their home zones to retrieve ringers from the human players.
Or can drive to the far end of the field to retrieve ringers that are waiting in the opponent's home zone.
Ringers are strategically placed on the rack and they attempt to make as many rows as possible.
Here we see a red ringer completing a vertical row of three and horizontal of two.
Alliance partner extends the row to three.
Black spoiler tubes are placed on the rack and used to negate the effects of the ringers.
Spoilers can be moved and picked up and we located.
As the match draws to a close, robots will race back to their home zone.
Bonus points are earned for each of the alliance robots elevated off the floor.
15 points for four inches off the floor, and 30 points for 12 inches or more.
Added to the bonus points, and this example blue squeaks out a win over red of 90-84.
Good luck, teams.
>> Hey, Woodie.
Why don't you show us what the red alliance has to offer.
>> Okay, Dean.
Red alliance is looking good.
We have 120 pound robot, 4 feet tall -- oops, looks like there is behavior.
A yellow card and wounded manipulator.
Good vision system, actuator, good.
And 5 feet fall, it can weigh no more than 110 pounds.
Good vision, good manipulator.
>> That's great.
Dave, why don't you show us what the blue appliance has to work with.
>> Looking really good as well.
Our first robot here is really pushing the limits of the height.
6 foot tall, but only 100 pounds.
In the middle, 120 pound robot, but only can be 4 feet tall.
And here on the end in the middle, 110 pound robot, 5 feet tall.
Playing the variations.
All three robots have manipulator systems and vision capabilities.
>> That's great.
And speaking of vision capabilities, why don't we get our head ref, Aidan Browne ot here, and Aidan, these guys have vision.
We can't make it easy for those guys.
Woodie, let's give this thing a push.
Okay, looking good.
Is everybody ready?
Three, two, one, go!
Here we go.
Rack and roll.
2:15 of robot action.
15 second autonomous period.
Robots, placing the keepers, remember the keepers are there to stay.
They cannot be descored, blue line, three high.
Red alliance, one in the middle -- that's the end of autonomous.
>> Woodie, what's going on over here?
>> This year, if you build a lightweight tall robot, you can reach high but will probably not win a pushing match against a short heavy machine.
>> Got it.
>> Dave, what's going on over there?
>> Short heavy robot backing into possession, getting ready for the teleoperator period.
>> What's the ref looking for?
>> Keepers not completely on the goal.
>> Smart move.
Keeper is useless to them now.
>> Ringers by the human player, nine ringers, begin the match, opposite he said of the field from each alliance.
Red alliance coming in.
Patroling, scoring on the middle ring.
>> The red machine is making the best of it, even with a broken arm.
>> She's aggressive but with the yellow card she cannot go over the top.
>> The robot and the human player are smooth.
One piece at a time doesn't slow them down.
>> Strategy, trying to develop rows horizontally and vertically on the rack.
Two ringers per rack.
Keeper, the keeper is yours for the match.
Here we go, red alliance scoring, filling up the middle row.
Position left open.
Blue alliance, it's their term to score.
Ringer being put on.
Five high, being placed --
>> So does that count?
>> No, Dave.
The ringer has to be touching the spider leg in order to count.
It cannot be hovering up there like that.
>> Okay.
One minute to play, one minute remraipbg.
Blue alliance.
>> Here come the spoilers.
Look like they have a plan.
>> Introduction of the spoilers, negating the ringers --
>> Ouch.
The manipulator broke the plane.
The ref has to disable the robot.
>> Placed high.
Wendy bot trying to block out -- moves by.
>> Blue is really going for it.
>> Can they get back in time?
>> 30 seconds to play.
>> Not if the red blocker has something to say bit.
>> She's an tiger even with the yellow card.
>> 15 more points for blue, they are way ahead.
>> Four inches off the floor -- we'll get the determination at the end of the match.
>> What's she doing?
>> Wow wharbgs a play.
>> How do they see that?
>> Blue is up, five seconds.
Three, two, one.
>> Really great game.
Based on the placement of the game piece, red had 44, blue had 22.
Blue got an elevated robot, another 15 points, up to 37.
But, that ten-point penalty for red brought them back down to 34.
That means blue wins with 37 over red's 34.
>> Okay, Blair.
What's next?
>> Dean, we are here to get a little team reaction.
I'm here with Justine.
What do you think about this year's game?
>> Awesome, and different than last year.
>> We'll go for that.
We look forward to seeing your robot in six short weeks.
We have confidence in you, you can do it.
Good luck.
But now, it's time for that FIRST game show.
It's fast, it's informative, the family game show, FIRST track, the game that points you to the right direction.
To the manual each and every time.
Let's meet our contestants.
Our first contestant is NASA's own Dave "the space man" lafr ry.
Our next contestant is the guru of FIRST, the professor who puts the GP in gracious professionalism, Woodie Flowers.
And our final contestant, the man with all the answers, the man who started it all, FIRST founder Dean Kamen.
And now how about a warm welcome for our fabulous FIRST track host, Paul "Adonis" Gudonis.
>> Okay, contestants.
Are you ready?
>> Yep.
>> Today we have three categories in this game where I will give you the answers first and you need to respond in the form of a question.
The categories today are distance, power, and game pointers.
Woodie, you won the servotoss.
>> Paul, power for 100.
>> The answer is four maximum.
>> What's the number of speeding tickets that Dave Lavery gets per year?
>> How many helicopters can I get into my hangar?
Way to go, Dave.
Choose the next category.
>> Game pointers for 100.
>> The answer is, this cannot be spoiled.
>> Who is Woodie.
>> What is a keeper?
That's right, Dean.
Keepers are just that, keepers.
Dean, why do you want to go next?
>> Distance for 100.
>> The answer is ten feet.
>> What is twice Dean's height?
If Dave had ten mouths, how many feet could I just insert?
>> What is the maximum height of structures in the pit area?
>> Yes, that's correct.
Thank you, Woodie.
Move along, gentlemen.
>> Distance for 500, Paul.
>> The answer is, one-half inch or three-eighths of an inch?
>> Careful, space man.
>> What are the required thicknesses of the plywood?
>> That's correct, Woodie.
>> Game pointers for 500, please.
>> The answer is that four inches high as well as 15 bonus points and 12 inches high equals 30 bonus points.
>> What is robot levitation.
>> How do I score bonus points?
>> That's correct, robots in their home zone and not touching the field at the end of the match can score bonus points.
Dave, you are up.
>> Power for 500.
>> Only the MK12 volt battery.
>> What type of battery can I use for my main power source in my robot during this competition.
>> Way to go, Dean.
That's right.
Only the MK12 volt battery is allowed.
Last year's battery is not.
>> Game pointers for 1,000.
>> It can still be scored.
>> The last election.
>> What happens if my game piece deflates?
>> That's right, Woodie.
Even if your scoring tube deflates, it still counts.
Woodie, j*uft -- just a couple more.
>> Distance for 1,000.
>> The answer is plan ahead.
>> What do you need to do to get your kit parts through the airport.
>> How do I fit a 6 foot tall robot into a 5'10" inch tall crate?
>> That's right.
Keep the size of the shipping crate in mind when you design the robots.
Power for 1,000, and the answer is no.
>> Did Dave give up donuts for new years?
>> Can teams use hydrogen fuel cells on their robots this year?
>> That's right, Dean.
Teams cannot use hydrogen at the events.
Leave the hydrogen at home, please.
I see we have a tie score.
So it's time for our FIRST TRACK final bonus question.
The answer is the rack.
>> The penalty for anyone not wearing safety glasses in the pit.
>> Dean, I'm so sorry but you did not answer in the form of a question.
>> Woodie.
>> What is the penalty for not wearing safety glasses on the field or in the pits?
>> What is positioned immediately after the robots are placed on the field before the autonomous period starts?
>> Yes, Dave.
Well done.
To make rock and roll even more interesting, the rack will be rotated ever so slightly before every match.
It's going to be an exciting game we have to look forward to this year.
So thank you Dean, Dave and Woodie for your valiant efforts and for seeing you out there.
And Dave, today's bonus round winner you will receive courtesy of NASA, an all expense paid round trip to -- well, actually not quiet, but you do get to reveal the password for the encrypted word for the manual.
>> It will be displayed on the screen.
Have fun with it.
>> Thank you, everyone.
See you out there and have fun!
>> I think that went really well, what do you guys think?
>> I think designing it is hard work.
Now it's the team's problem.
Sure hope they have a couple of the tubes left over for a pool party.
>> Dave, a little?
>> Don't get too comfortable, you guys.
It's time to start next year's game design.
>> Wonder where we can get any ideas for next year's game.
>> I can't imagine what we could be doing next year.
>> Good luck.
We'll see you in competition.