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The FIRST Robotics Competition - How it works

February 26, 2004

How the FIRST Robotics Competition works:

  • In January, the Williamsport High School team and the Washington County Technical High School-based team, along with about 900 other teams, were told the criteria for this year's competition.

    They were told the robots they build in less than two months must weigh under 130 pounds.

    The teams were each sent a box filled with the supplies needed to design their robots.

  • This week, the teams must send their robots to the site of the regional competitions, which in Washington County's case is in Annapolis starting March 18. Some regional competitions are held earlier in the month, and others are held later.

  • At the regional competition, each team will be paired with another team. The teams, each with their robot work together and square off against two other teams and their robots. The two teams that get the most points move on to the next level of competition.

    To gain points, the robots must complete various tasks including climbing a 6-inch step, lifting itself up at least 1 inch off the ground and pushing and lifting balls of various sizes.

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The tasks the robots must complete differ each year.

Some of the best teams will proceed to the championships in Atlanta.

Source: Interviews with members of the two teams.

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