The robots are coming! The robots are coming … and for Phoenix Robotics, that’s great news. Team Phoenix, a group of about 60 students from the Greater Nashua Area, were the winners of Sanford’s Community Commitment charity donation in April.
These amazing students compete in a game in which their custom-built robots race to perform tasks faster and more efficiently than their competitors. But they don’t just build a robot. That’d be too easy! These students are responsible for marketing, fundraising, and constructing their robot in six weeks or less in order to meet the stringent rules of the F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Competition (FRC), a competition that has been hailed as “the varsity sport for the mind.”
What kind of competition is it? Check out this video. You won’t believe how cutting-edge it is!
The robots designed for the competition are large and complicated, weighing as much as 120 pounds, and the development project is “as close to real-world engineering that the student can get, including all the constraints of a real-world engineering project,” says the Team Phoenix website. Members of Team Phoenix come from home school groups, private schools, and the Academy for Science and Design, and they’re dedicated to building robots that compete in these national and international competitions.
Take a peek at their robot from the 2015 competition, which had to stack and move a series of 50-pound totes and containers.
Phoenix Robotics offers one-of-a-kind job skills and real-world experience to students at a time when society is well on its way into what some have dubbed the Second Machine Age. Robotics “will have implications stretching across all professions,” and even the definition of “robot” has evolved, as “artificial intelligence applications have pushed the boundary of what a robot is and can do.” For instance, Google recently won a patent to start building worker robots with personalities, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just like the titans of the industry, the student membership of Phoenix Robotics will continue to compete and innovate, because for them, the robo-future is now.
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