Off-Season FIRST Robotics Competition Event Announced for Columbia, SC

Two robotics teams in Columbia, South Carolina, have combined to launch the first-ever off-season FIRST Robotics Competition event in the state of South Carolina.  The event, the South Carolina Robotics Invitational and Workshops (SCRIW), will see two dozen teams competing for one more time during the 2011 season.

FIRST, the United States Foundation For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen to encourage students in the United States and beyond to take up careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields by applying the model of sporting events.  The flagship high school program, the FIRST Robotics Competition, started in 1992 with 28 teams in a high school gymnasium in New Hampshire.  Today, in its twentieth season, FRC has over 2,000 teams on five continents competing at 58 regional, district, and state championship events in the United States, Canada, and Israel and the FIRST Championship in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Each year, FRC teams receive a game challenge in early January, a kit of parts containing a mixture of required and optional parts, and just six weeks to complete the robots.  This year’s challenge, LOGO MOTION, has teams working in alliances of three teams to hang tubes shaped as elements of FIRST‘s logo on a rack, then deploying smaller robots to climb poles at the end of the match.

SCRIW will allow teams in South Carolina and surrounding states to get one more shot at this year’s challenge before their robots are retired.  The one-day event, held at Irmo High School’s gymnasium, will be played on a regulation FRC field with minimal changes to the regular competition rules.

More details will be announced about this event, including the lineup of workshops for teams, at a later date.

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