The FIRST® Robotics Competition is an international competition that sees students build and program robots. This year, 50 teams and over 2,000 students had six weeks to design and build a robot to play a game that saw them race to equip rockets and load cargo for transportation off the planet before a sand storm swept through.
Two regional finals — Southern Cross and South Pacific — took place last weekend in Sydney, with two AARNet judges — Nick Cross and Jason Arruzza — and several other staff members volunteering to support networking infrastructure and operations over the six days of the finals.
The quality of entry at the finals was outstanding, with teams across the board demonstrating sophisticated robotics and advanced STEM skills.
Winner IC Robotics and finalist Komplete Kaos received networking and engineering mentoring and advice from AARNet. Six directly connected AARNet schools also participated, demonstrating robots that rose exceptionally to their inter-planetary challenge.
To secure super-fast internet for participants and external supporters, AARNet provided the competition venue with a dedicated 1G connection to the AARNet network, along with Wi-Fi, eduroam and dual HD live streaming for the event; in total, over 600,000 minutes were streamed in 25,000 views across the world.
Founded in the USA in 1989, FIRST® Robotics Competition is a fantastic event that was established in Australia by Macquarie University in 2006. This year, Macquarie University and nine other Australian universities supported robotics club teams for school students and community members. AARNet is proud to join them in fostering enthusiasm for science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) and building practical STEM skills in young people.
Image: Student designed and built robots complete their challenge at the FIRST Robotics Competition.