|A robot placed two cubes on a skyrise|
CIE/USA-DFW, which is a non profit organization with mission to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) awareness in DFW area, successfully organized its first VEX robotics competition on February 7, 2015, in a Gymnasium at a local middle school.
Making it Happen
It took a lot efforts to make this event to happen and to be successful.
First and foremost, it was the planning. The event planning and organizing team captain Arnold initiated this event within CIE, and he took great efforts to learn how to host the event. He also convinced CIE/DFW leadership to have the event on the youth program.
To make the event actually happen, we needed a lot of volunteers to help. The volunteers were critical to carry out the plan. One important area needed help was the logistics for the event, which include 1) reservation of a venue and purchase of associated insurance, 2) venue preparation - tables and chairs (primarily from facility renting entity), banners, signs for directions ..., 3) setup and disassemble the competition fields, 4) food and water for volunteers, 5) materials for registrations, programs. The other important area was the operation of the event which include 1) registration, 2) Inspection of robots, 3) scoring and refereeing, 4) judging, 5) event control and record keeping.
|A volunteer was inspecting if a robot met size requirement|
There were about 15 adult volunteers which served as lead or adviser to 40 high school student volunteers. There were additionally seven engineers from local companies who served as judges for the competition.
The competition involved an elaborate and relatively long qualification round. Each match has two teams compete against each other - red team and blue team. The intriguing part is that a red or blue team is made up of two participating teams. For the 20 teams participated, each team played 7 matches with various partner teams selected by REC foundation's program.
A match itself include two part - a 15 second autonomous portion and a 1 minute 45 second driver controlled part. A robot is operated through a program written by its team in the autonomous part. The goal of the game was to place blue or red cubes on the grey posts on the perimeter of the filed or to build a skyrise (the yellow post) and place the cubes on the skyrise.
|A robot attempted to place two cubes on a skyrise|
In addition to try their best to make their robots to do the intended tasks, some competing teams engaged in tactical activities such as moving oponent's cubes away from its robot, removing opponent's cubes from grey posts ......
The finals were between Alliances formed by #1 qualifying team and by #2 qualifying team. Each Alliance consists of three teams. The two alliances were evenly matched, and the matches were very exciting - the playing field was totally surrounded, many spectators had to stand on chairs or tables in order to watch!
|scene at finals|