On January 9th, the Fitch Robotics Team headed to the Millstone Power Station to view the kickoff of the 2011 FIRST robotics season. There was much anticipation amongst the team and many questions were waiting to be answered: What is this year’s game going to be? What will be of the field elements and their functions? What type of robot will have to be constructed? However, when they arrived, there were technically difficulties in projecting the live broadcast. Luckily, the spirit of FIRST could not be diminished and with the help and participation of the many other FIRST robotics teams who have attended the kickoff, the kickoff was successfully projected.
During the kickoff, musician Will.I.Am (member of the Black Eyed Peas) appeared and talked about how the world needs people like the members of FIRST so more people can be involved in the fields of Science and Mathematics. Later, Dean Kamen (founder of FIRST) came in to talk about the game for this year’s season. It was called Logomotion, and the object of the game was to place tubes onto a rack in order to gain points. During the first 15 seconds (known as Autonomous mode) the robot would be remotely activated and would try to score the tubes by itself and in the final 15 seconds, a minibot would be launched onto a tower to score extra points.
After the kickoff, all the teams went downstairs into a big conference room in order to gain a better understanding of the game. Aspects such as the field elements, the scoring, and the rules of the game were discussed. Then, all the teams would split up and each would discuss their own strategy of this year’s game. With the official start, the Fitch FIRST Robotics team was determined to make this season one to remember.