Homemade robots shoot Frisbees in student competition

Hundreds of high school students gathered in Boston this weekend to pit their homemade robots against other schools bots in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Contest organizers hand student teams a box of pieces and give them six weeks to build robots that can complete a series of tasks.

This year’s game was called Ultimate Ascend. The student-built robots shot Frisbees into predetermined high level goals; in the final 20 seconds of the timed event, the robots had to climb a tower for bonus points.

The event featured in the above video is put on by FIRST, which stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. The group looks for ways to give students hands-on experience with building robots, putting those creations to the test in competition. The group has also put together a national Lego League in which kids ages 9 to 14 compete against each other by building Lego robots.

The FIRST Robotics competition started in 1992 as a way to interest students in math, science, and engineering; it’s grown to include more than 250,000 students internationally. The FIRST championship will be held in St. Louis in late April.

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