Innovation First, the robotics manufacturer for the hobby, competition, education and toy markets, announced last week that it was adding a college competition to its 2009 VEX Robotics World Championship, to be held April 30-May 2, 2009 at the Dallas Convention Center.
“This provides a forum for students to test their engineering skills against their peers,” said Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition for Innovation First, in a statement. Dassault Systems and Autodesk have each made a financial contribution to the college competition to reduce the cost of registration to $250 per team, down from $750 per team. There are two pieces to the college, or student, portion of the competition. The College Challenge will be comprised of up to 36 school teams. All teams competing, middle school through post secondary, will be playing the game Elevation (some of the rules will be modified depending on the students’ level of engineering expertise). Registration is available here. The specific rules for the College Challenge can be found on the VEX Elevation Competition page. There are also three categories of online challenges: ? The Promote Award will go to the best video entry that celebrates positive experiences during a VEX Robotics Competition season or creates an entertaining movie about VEX Robots.
? The Design a Game Animation Award will go to the best animated video entry that demonstrates a game being played, and explains all aspects of the game including rules, scoring and field objects.
? The Product Design Challenge goes to the entry that designs and builds the best VEX Robot equipped to perform household chores or activities. Submission opens on January 1, 2009 and the deadline is March 10, 2009. The details for each of the online challenges including prizes are available here. The non-student portion of the competition will include top teams from approximately 100 VEX Robotics Competition tournaments that started in October and continue through April. Registration and the events listing appears at http://www.robotevents.com.
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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.