High Schools Battle It Out at Robotic Match

Image of the teams are operating their robots remotely The JPL-mentored winning team "Beach Bots" from Hermosa Beach, Calif., is shown here in blue next to the "The Pink Team" from the area around Cocoa Beach, Florida. The teams are operating their robots remotely. Image credit: NASA/JPL
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March 29, 2010

Fifty-eight teams from Southern California, Florida, Massachusetts and Chile competed in the Los Angeles regional FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition this past weekend, March 27 and 28. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., mentored 10 of the schools in this annual engineering and technology contest, which was held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

The teams from Hope Chapel Academy High School, Hermosa Beach, Calif.; Windward School Robotics and A & S Youth Organization, Los Angeles; and Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta, Calif., won the overall regional competition. Beverly Hills High School in Beverly Hills, Calif., won the competition's highest award, the Regional Chairman's Award.

This year's "Breakaway" challenge closely resembled a robotic soccer match. In each two-minute-15-second match, two alliances of three teams competed on a 27-by-54-foot field with bumps. The object of the game was to attain the highest score by shooting balls into a goal, climbing on the alliance tower or platform, or by lifting an alliance robot off the playing surface.

The students designed and built their robots with the help of engineers from JPL, aerospace and other companies and institutions of higher education.

These students are among the more than 38,000 students in 1,500 teams from around the world vying to compete in the FIRST championships. FIRST is part of NASA's Robotics Alliance Project, which aims to expand the number of robotics systems experts available to NASA.

2010 Los Angeles Regional FIRST Robotics Awards
* Denotes JPL-mentored team

Regional Chairman's Award
"MorTorq," Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills

Engineering Inspiration Award
"D'Penguineers," Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta

Regional Winners
*"Beach Bots," Hope Chapel Academy High School, Hermosa Beach "D'Penguineers," Dos Pueblos High School Engineering Academy, Goleta "Wildcats," Windward School Robotics and A & S, Los Angeles

Regional Finalists
"Beach Cities Robotics," Redondo Union and Mira Costa High School, Redondo Beach "RAWC," West Covina High School, West Covina *"ThunderBots," John Burroughs High School, Burbank

Cooperation Award
"Gompei and the H.E.R.D.," Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Hawthorne, Mass.

Xerox Creativity Award
"TorBots," South High School, North High School, West High School and Torrance High School, Torrance

Delphi Engineering Excellence Award
"Gompei and the H.E.R.D.," Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science, Worcester, Mass.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers Entrepreneurship Award
"The Nerd Herd," California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Carson

AutoDesk Excellence in Design Award
"DOC," Buchanan High School, Clovis

Johnson & Johnson Gracious Professionalism Award
"DOC," Buchanan High School, Clovis

Highest Rookie Seed Award
"Dragonbots," Foothill Technology High School, Ventura

Imagery Award in honor of Jack Kamen
"The Pink Team," Rockledge High School, Cocoa Beach High School and Viera High School, Florida

General Motors Industrial Design Award
*"Beach Bots," Hope Chapel Academy High School, Hermosa Beach

Underwriters Laboratory Industrial Safety Award
*"Wolverines," Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles

Rockwell Automation Innovation in Control Award
"Beach Cities Robotics," Redondo Union and Mira Costa High School, Redondo Beach

Judges Award
"Metalcrafters," Centinela Valley Union High School District, Hawthorne

Motorola Quality Award
"RAWC," West Covina High School, West Covina

Rookie All-Star Award
"Dragonbots," Foothill Technology High School, Ventura

Rookie Inspiration Award
"NohoRobo," North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood

Chrysler Team Spirit Award
"Iron Eagles," Verbum Dei High School, Watts

Website Award
*"Wolverines," Foshay Learning Center, Los Angeles

Courtney O'Connor 818-354-2274
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Courtney.m.o'connor@jpl.nasa.gov

2010-104

Images

robot hanging from a bar on the playing field

The winning robot from team "D'Penguineers," also known by their number "1717," is shown hanging from a bar on the playing field. Robots that were successfully elevated at the end of a match won bonus points. Image credit: NASA/JPL

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La Canada High School

Team "LCEC" from La Canada High School, Calif., is pictured with their robot. Image credit: NASA/JPL

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