I'm glad the Aerial assist link was included in the article because it helps clarify the rules.
Autonomous mode is only the first 10 seconds of a 150 second match.
Each team builds only ONE robot. An alliance is 3 randomly selected teams which work together during that match. There are TWO alliances on the field for a total of 6 robots during each match. On the second day of play the top scoring teams start a selection process which narrow down to 8 alliances (24 teams/robots) which begin the quarter final matches.
Here is the link to the Aerial Assist game animation. It's fun to watch.
I agree with Daniyal, these types of competitions that combine playing and technology--particularly robots--are great for spurring interest in science and tech among kids. It's important to get them involved and engaged as early as possible to encourage this type of study and work later on. They also foster team-building and cooperative skills that can serve them in many fields, not just technology, as well as in their personal lives.
Thanks for sharing Cabe. Events like these should be encouraged all over the globe; they are not only fun but have a lot of learning opportunities for the students. Managing the team, tackling pressure of time and utilizing technical skills to come up with a unique design can lead to a steep learning curve of students, and produce efficient professionals in the long run.
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