Present this week in Long Beach, California are THREE Chilean robotic teams comprised of Chilean high school students from all over Chile. They participate in a robotics world tournament called FIRST Robotics Competition also known in short as FRC. FIRST Robotic Competition will hold its Los Angeles Regional competition in Long Beach, California this upcoming March 20, 21 and 22, 2013 at the Long Beach Arena. It is opened to the public and free but there is a parking fee. FIRST Robotics Competition strongly recommends that attendees wear closed toe shoes (no sandals) so they can walk the floor where the teams are working on their robots. This will be the 7th time Chile participates, first time there are 3 teams!
Long Beach Arena
300 East Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, California 90802 Event is FREE.
More complete directions are at this link. But for many, you simply need to reach the Long Beach Freeway (710). Go south on the Long Beach Freeway to the Downtown Exits. (710 then becomes Shoreline Drive). Follow Shoreline Drive to Linden Avenue and into the parking lot, or as advised by directional signage.
Each year, FRC announces its challenge in the early weeks of January and allows a six week period for each international team to conceive, built and demonstrate their robot entry by mid February. By then their video entry is submitted and robot shipped to the competition. The below video shows this year’s theme: 2014 Aerial Assist.
- Jr. FIRST Lego League (6-9 year old)
- FIRST Lego League (9-14 year old inside US, 9-16 year old outside US)
- FIRST Tech Challenge (High School Level)
- FIRST Robotic Competition (High School Level)
Immediately below is a video about what is FIRST: “. . . change where kids put their time and attention and you’ll change the outcome. . . this is a sporting event for the mind”- Dean Kamen
In this competition, each team is given an ID number. The three Chilean robotic teams are identified as following: Corazon de Chileno #2576, Polibot San Carlos #4960 and Condor Force #4966. Teams are made up of students ages 13-18 and mentors.
Immediately below are three introductory videos (in Spanish) about each of the teams:
Summary of the above…. each team is a combination of motivation, effort and different disciplines within a teamwork frame. They compete in the most competitive youth international robotic competition. Their robots utilize technology used by NASA, and National Instruments to name two. Their main aim is to the development of the student’s technical, scientific, design and administrative abilities and to best represent Chile. Of the three Chilean robotic teams, Condor Force has the most international in makeup: they include students from Colombia, who have joined the team in order to learn and someday transfer this idea to their country. They claim also to be the “most” international team in character of the entire 2014 FRC competition. To view last year’s 2013 FRC teams by locations from around the world: Map 1 and Map 2. Last year, the countries representing Latin America were Mexico, Dominica Republic, Brazil and Chile.
The below radio Cooperativa (93.3 FM) interview was chosen to be included in this article because of its informative nature.
The teams prepare for one year for this competition. This year’s theme is volleyball in essence, but conducted via a robot. They rely greatly on “donated” resources, whether they be monetary or such resources as tools, equipment and materials to make robots. Each student participates in different workshops for a year before the final 6 week submission period. They prepare in different areas: electronics, mechanics, design and design of software and administration. There are many youths who take interest robotics because it is a diverse field and they can specialize in different areas. It is ideal for each of the team members to participate in the final stage of competition.
The teams ask for all types of support. There are many ways to support the teams, by giving them monetary donations, or becoming a sponsor of a team or student and of course moral support via Facebook likes.
Summary of the three teams contact information:
CORAZON DE CHILENO – Equipo # 2576
CONDOR FORCE – Equipo # 4966
POLIBOT SAN CARLOS – Equipo # 4960
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/polibot4960
Fundi2 covered this event last year, publishing an article that can be linked here. For those that do not click over, here are a few important highlights of the article:
In 2012, Corazon de Chileno lead mentor and founder y chileno, Jose Ignacio Fernandez Cofre received two honorable awards outside of Chile, and one of them independent of FIRST.
At the 2012 British Council and Microsoft Worldwide Education Leaders Briefing he was presented the 2012 award of Young Education Leader.
In relation to FIRST awards, Jose Ignacio Fernandez Cofre was the first South American, under 30, and who has not worked for NASA to win The Woodie Flowers Award. Quoting FIRST website: “Dr. Woodie Flowers is the Pappalardo Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering at the MIT and a Distinguished Partner at Olin College. Dr. Flowers participates in the design of the FIRST Robotics Competition game each year. He has served as a National Advisor to FIRST since the inception of the FIRST Robotics Competition.”