Student teams that are competing to reach the 2020 FIRST Championship to be contested from April 28 to May 2 at the TCF Center in downtown Detroit will, for the first time, participate in Infinite Recharge, a new robotics game inspired by the “Star Wars” film series.
The competition of more than 100,000 high-school students on 3,898 teams at 160 venues around the world will participate in FIRST Rise, powered by “Star Wars: Force for Change.” The program, in which FIRST teamed with Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Co., encourages student teams to explore the future of cities and architecture, and build communities.
In Infinite Recharge, two alliances work to protect FIRST City from approaching asteroids caused by a distant space skirmish. Each alliance, along with their trusty droids, race to collect and score power cells in order to energize their shield generator for maximum protection.
To activate sections of the shield generator, droids manipulate their control panels after scoring a specific number of power cells. Near the end of the match, droids race to their rendezvous point to get their shield generator operational in order to protect the city.
Larry Cohen, president of FIRST, encouraged students to be innovative. “I hope you tackle this season by working together to explore new ideas, to be innovative and inclusive, to strive to make an impact, and – of course – to have fun. I know you’ll rise to the challenge. What you learn in FIRST will make you better prepared for the future and enable you to solve our toughest challenges.”
In addition to competing in a “Star Wars”-themed game field, students now are working with their mentors to build robots from a kit of parts that includes motors, batteries, control system components, construction materials, and a mix of additional automation components – with limited instructions.
Working with adult mentors, students have limited time to design, build, program, and test their robots to meet the season’s engineering challenge. Once the young inventors build a robot, their teams will participate beginning in late February in one or more of the global 173 regional and district events that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
By participating in FIRST, students gain confidence to explore the innovation process while learning valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. FIRST Robotics Competition participants are eligible to apply for more than $80 million in FIRST scholarships from colleges, universities, and technical programs.
For more information about FIRST RISE, powered by “Star Wars: Force for Change,” visit here.