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Just call me Doctor! FPL machinists and welders staff Robot Urgent Care Center [VIDEO]
Several thousand high-fiving, cheering, costumed high school students gathered a few weeks ago to cheer on their favorite robot! Florida Power & Light Company was there too for the 2013 South Florida FIRST Robotics Competition at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.
FIRST, which stands for “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,” is a national nonprofit that conducts robotics competitions to engage students in tackling highly complex technical challenges in a fun, interactive way. As a strong proponent of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, FPL was proud to serve as an official sponsor of the “super bowl of the mind” contest alongside NASA and the U.S. Army.
Teams from all over the Southeast made the trek to South Florida along with their robotic creations to compete in the ring.
FPL provided and staffed the onsite machine shop, dubbed “Robot Urgent Care” for the three-day event. Along with providing “medical services,” two FPL executives volunteered to judge the contest.
Every year FIRST changes the contest challenge, and this year’s test for the 60-plus high school teams that built, programmed and operated the 150-pound robots was to design machines capable of accurately throwing Frisbees at targets and successfully climbing predesigned structures.
Frisbees were flying and the crowd watched in awe as these robots traveled vertically, as though by magic.
According to FPL’s vice president of technical services, Jim Keener, “This was an impressive show of engineering talent and innovation. FPL’s support of this competition is precisely in line with supporting our community while developing future engineers and scientists. A number of these students could develop into potential employees, ranging from engineers to power plant engineers.”
We wish the winning teams good luck in the national FIRST championships later this month!