On April 30, 10,000 students gathered at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the 19th annual FIRST Championship. Every year FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosts a robotics competition for high school students to build and operate robots. The students are given kits containing hundreds of parts and six weeks to build a robot that could compete in a soccer-like game called “Breakaway” where the robots had to climb over obstacles and score goals on the other teams. This year’s winning team was composed of three teams from across the country, “Beach Cities Robotics” from Redondo Beach, CA, “The HOT Team” from Milford, MI, and “Bobcat Robotics” from South Windsor, CT. You can see a full list of the winners here.
This year’s kits were full of supplies donated by companies eager to help young people get mor involved and more interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education and careers. One such company is igus® who has created the Y.E.S. program for students in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Igus’ Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) supplied Energy Chain cable carriers, igus® plastic bearings, igubal® spherical bearings, and DryLin® linear bearings to the FIRST robotics kits.
Y.E.S.’s mission is to provide donations to students who show a passion for engineering and they continue to donate through competitions such as Botball, and Best Robotics.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.