Wireless at Championship, Two Award Winners and Real-Life Mario Kart!

Apr 18, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff

Wireless at Championship

There’s no question that all eyes will be on Einstein next week to make sure we don’t have a repeat of the communications issues we had last year.  We’re working hard to make sure things run smoothly.  We have several changes already in place and a few more steps we’re taking that I wanted to mention today.

First, all Divisional Winners will be brought out to Einstein at least one hour in advance of the big show to allow the teams to calibrate their cameras and run a practice match.  This will give us a chance to catch any issues before they pop up during a match that counts.  Time permitting, we’re also planning to bring the Divisional Finalists on to the field to test them as well, just in case an alliance has a breakdown requiring the backup robot to be brought in to play.

Also, we’re having experts from our friends at Qualcomm, with their equipment, present field-side throughout the competition to help monitor wireless traffic and identify any potential issues so that they can be addressed right away.  Qualcomm is an industry leader in wireless, and we’re very grateful to them for this expert support!

Two Award Winners

I’m delighted to announce two new FRC award winners.  These folks will be collecting their trophies on the big stage at Championship next week.

Team 2283, Panteras, from Mexico City, Mexico, has been selected as the first ever winner of the Media and Technology Innovation Award sponsored by Comcast.  This team started as an FLL team in 2005, and continued to grow from there, now having two FTC teams as well as their FRC team.  Congratulations! 

Also, Parker Owen, of FRC Team 3469 and FTC Team 4260, has been selected as the winner of the 2013 FIRST Future Innovator Award sponsored by the Abbott Fund.  Parker’s invention is the ‘Cycle-Leg’, a prosthetic leg that can be assembled from an old bicycle and just a few additional common fasteners.  He wanted to make this kind of life-changing technology available to individuals living in areas with limited resources.  I’d say he’s hit his mark.  What a great idea!  You ‘ll also note that Parker is on both an FRC team and an FTC team.  The award is open to students on either, and it’s nice to see it going to someone who is both.

Real-Life Mario Kart

What’s better than Mario Kart?  How about Mario Kart in real life? Waterloo Labs was founded by four engineers from National Instruments, and, to quote their website, they have ‘a desire to engineer awesome’.

Check out this piece of awesome  – Go Karts modified to play Mario Kart, complete with shooters and power-ups.  Also, this finally provides an answer to that age-old question:  “Do RFID-enabled bananas have a place in this world?”  Yes, they do!

If you look closely at the video when they are showing the control system, you are likely to see a very familiar looking cRIO…

Note:  This looks at least a little dangerous, so please don’t tell people I told you to try this.  In fact, I’m telling you right now – don’t try this.



I’ll blog again soon


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