Who knew they played basketball at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center? Well, Saturday's game was anything but typical for the FIRST 2012 Alamo Regional Robotics Competition.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) bills their robotics competition, Rebound Rumble, as "the varsity Sport for the Mind." Two alliances, each comprised of three teams, compete against one another in a competition that looks like a game of basketball meets Robot Wars meets the mechanical haste of NASCAR's pit row.
Greg Needel aka 'Robogreg' (in a Baltimore Ravens jersey) hosted the competition and, at one point, admitted to the lively, in some cases vuvuzela-toting audience, that what they had just seen on the robotics field of play was "unbelievable."
The feat? A particular alliance managed to balance all three robots on the white bridge at the end of the match, which allotted them a bounty of bonus points. When pressed for the significance of the achievement, 'Robogreg' informed that the bridges are only 88" long and each robot measures 38" x 28" (any orientation they prefer). Thus, 40 points were scored, 'Robogreg' was amped, and the crowd followed.
Adjacent to the robotics court, fourth through eighth graders participated in the Alamo First Lego League Tourney. For more information you can visit their website at centraltxfirst.org.
As for Rebound Rumble, you can learn more about this exciting "varsity Sport for the Mind" on usfirst.org/roboticsprograms.