UDM Team Is Second in FIRST Regional

Impact, Summer 2002 issue

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A team from Berkley High School sponsored by UDM and Comau PICO took second place at the 2002 Great Lakes Regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. The team, nicknamed "da Bears," has been competing since 1999.

The annual competition involves more than 20,000 high school students in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and the UK. High school students and technical mentors work as a team to design and build a robot that solves a problem using a "kit of parts" and a standard set of rules. This year, teams competed with their robots in "Zone Zeal," where robots collected soccer balls, put them into goals, then moved the goals into specified zones in order to earn points--all in less than two minutes. This year there were seventeen regional competitions around the U.S. and Canada, culminating in the National Championship event at Epcot Center, April 25-27.

FIRST was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen to interest and inspire students in mathematics and science. He wanted to counteract the decline in enrollment in science and engineering programs at universities, a trend which, if allowed to continue, would eventually lead to a loss of leadership in advanced technology fields. Kamen may be best known as the inventor of the recently-introduced Segway scooter (The Segway[tm] Human Transporter is a self-balancing, personal transportation device that is designed to operate in any pedestrian environment. The U.S. Postal Service is currently testing the product for broad use by its pedestrian carriers).


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