33 robotics teams compete in FIRST R.I. Championship at NEIT

New England Tech is proud to support FIRST Robotics because it is so much more than robots.

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From the Providence Journal

Patrick Anderson
Journal Staff Writer

WARWICK — Months of fundraising, planning and community events completed, Saturday was all about the robots.

Dozens of the metal-armed machines, middle and high school students at their controls, wheeled their way across the floor of the host New England Institute of Technology’s automotive center in an all-day competition as confusing to the uninitiated as the circuits that power the robots.

They scooped up rubber balls. They climbed obstacle-strewn ramps. Sometimes they flipped over.

And for the 10th straight year, a select few teams — Rhode Rage 1 from Aquidneck Island Robotics, the Westerly Bulldogs from Westerly High and North Robotics from North Kingstown High — earned a spot in the FIRST Tech Challenge’s regional finals in March against teams from up and down the East Coast.

“It is getting more challenging every year: more teams, more kids on each team and the games are different every year,” said Rick Powell, team mentor for North Kingstown High School’s three entrants in the FIRST Rhode Island Championship.

Over the last 20 years, school robotics has grown from a science class novelty to an educational phenomenon, with competitions in every state, teams in most school districts and students spending hours after school preparing for events.

And while engineering still lies at the heart of most robotics contests, the teams have become more than a refuge for tinkerers.

Within North Kingstown’s teams are building groups, software groups, design groups (for the logo) and “notebook” groups that record everything, Powell said.

The 33 teams that made it to the state finals Saturday — another 23 were eliminated in three preliminary rounds — represent 24 schools and extracurricular groups with different resources and robotics histories.

Source: 33 robotics teams compete in FIRST R.I. Championship at NEIT

NEIT to Host FIRST® Robotics Competition

East Greenwich, RI – New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) will sponsor the tenth annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge on Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Serving as Rhode Island’s FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner, NEIT will host 33 middle and high school robotics teams for the state competition at the university’s Center for Automotive Technology located at 101 Access Road, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Accomplished inventor, Dean Kamen, founded FIRST® in 1989 to inspire students with an appreciation of science and technology through the fun of robotics. The goal is to engage students in developing problem solving, critical thinking, and innovative reasoning skills using custom-designed robots.  Middle school and high school teams will compete for the chance to participate at the FIRST® state, regional and world championships.

More than 55 Rhode Island middle and high school teams have registered for this high-energy event. Qualifier competitions were held on December 5th and December 19th with one more qualifier scheduled for January 9, 2016, at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus located at One New England Tech Blvd.  These qualifier competitions determine which 33 teams advance to the state tournament. Winners of the state competition will travel to the East Super-Regional FIRST® competition in Scranton, Pennsylvania in March, 2016. Top teams from the four Super-Regional tournaments will earn a spot at the FIRST® World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri in April, 2016.

Qualifier competitions as well as the state tournament are free and open to the public.  For more information on the FIRST® Tech Challenge, please contact Erin Flynn, Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events at New England Tech at 401-739-5000, ext. 3462 or eflynn@neit.edu. To learn more about the FIRST® organization, please visit www.usfirst.org.

RI FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifier Results from 12/5

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 1st of 3 RI FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournaments.

Congratulations to the 11 teams advancing to the state tournament.

154      Renegade                    Burrillville

252      Electric Quahogs         Wheeler School

8129    Canebots                     Warwick Veterans Memorial HS

121      Rhode Rage I              Aquidneck Island Robotics

149      Robo Hawks               Bishop Hendricken HS

652      TACT Bots                 Mt. Hope HS

7093    Raider Bots                 Shea HS

689      Avengers                     East Greenwich HS

9900    Scituate HS                 Scituate HS

3351    Tater Bots Rehashed   Mt. Hope HS

9906    SHS4                           Scituate HS

Finalist Alliance 652 TACT Bots and 154 Renegade 

Winning Alliance 252 Electric Quahogs and 121 Rhode Rage I

The Motivate Award

This Judged Award celebrates the Team that exemplifies the essence of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition and embraces the culture of FIRST while making a collective effort to make FIRST known throughout their school, and community and sparks others to embrace the culture of FIRST.

The finalists for this award:      Team 252, Electric Quahogs and Team 8129, Canebots

The Motivate Award is presented toTeam 652, TACT Bots

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a Team that has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

The finalists for this award: Team 689, Avengers and Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award is presented to:  Team 8129, Canebots 

The Connect Award

The Connect Award, is presented to the Team that the Judges feel most connected with their local community, FIRST and the business world. The best Team is more than the sum of its parts, and recognizes that their schools and communities play an essential part to their success. The recipient of this Award is recognized for helping the community understand FIRST, the FIRST Tech Challenge, and the Team itself. In addition, the Team that wins this Award is aggressively seeking engineers and exploring the opportunities available in the world of engineering, science and technology.

The finalists for this award are:  Team 121, Rhode Rage I and Team 4497, Rhode Rage II

The Connect Award is presented to:  Team 7093, Raiderbots 

The Think Award

The Think Award is given to the Team that the Judges feel best reflects the journey the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The Engineering Notebook is the key reference for Judges to help them identify the most deserving Team. This Teams Engineering Notebook focused on the design and build stages of the Teams robot and exemplified their journey as a team and engineers.

The finalists for this award:  Team 8129, Canebots  and Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Think Award is presented to:   Team 149, RoboHawks 

The Inspire Award

The Inspire Award is given to the Team that the Judges felt truly embodied the challenge of the FTC program. The Team that receives this award is a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and works to promote FIRST and make it loud in their community. The Team that receives this Award has performed well in all Judging categories and was chosen by the Judges as a model FIRST Tech Challenge Team on and off the playing field. The Judges used Match performance, observations made during interviews and in the pit area, the Teams Engineering Notebook, and performance on the playing field in determining the winner.

The finalists for this award:  In Second Place: Team 8129, Canebots and in Third Place: Team 252, Electric Quahogs

The Inspire Award is presented to: Team 154, Renegade

Thank you for all you do for RI students!

RI FIRST Tech Challenge Call for Volunteers

FIRST Res QThe 10th season of the Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) hosted by New England Institute of Technology(NEIT) is underway.  NEIT is looking for technical professionals, educators, parents and all others interested in volunteering. Each season approximately 45 R.I. middle and high school robotic teams design, build and compete in the RI FIRST Tech Challenge.

We need you!

Adult volunteers are assigned key roles to keep the qualifiers and tournament on track.  No need to be an expert in robotics or engineering, just a willingness to support our R.I. students in their interest in technology.

Volunteer at a Qualifier!

Teams in R.I. advance to the state tournament by participating in a qualifying tournament.  The dates for the qualifiers are 11/14, 12/5, 12/19and 1/9/16.  Qualifiers run from 7:30 am until 4 pm. The work is fun and lunch is provided!

Volunteer at the State Tournament!

32 R.I. FTC teams will advance to the RI State Tournament out of 48 teams. The R.I. State Tournament is a held on 1/30/16 with set-up and prep on 1/29/16. Volunteers for State Tournament must have volunteered at one qualifying tournaments.

Hurry! Register with FIRST!

If you are interested in joining in the FIRST fun, you must register as a volunteer through the FIRST system. This information will be sent directly to the RI FIRST Affiliate Partner, Erin Flynn.  https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx

For more information on FIRST and the FTC Challenge go to www.usfirst.org. For more information on NE Tech go to www.neit.edu

Erin Flynn, RI FIRST Affiliate Partner at New England Institute of Technology                           800-736-7744 ext. 3462 or by e-mail at eflynn@neit.edu

Steps to register with the FIRST VIMS Volunteer Program

  1. Go to the Volunteer Information Matching System (VIMS) – https://my.usfirst.org/FIRSTPortal/Login/VIMS_login.aspx
  2. Create an account
  3. Apply to an event
    1. From Left Hand Navigation, click “Volunteer Role Applications”
    2. Click the button that says “Apply for an Event”
    3. Select “FTC”
    4. Select State/Province – “Rhode Island”
    5. Press “Find Event”
  4. You will find the qualifier dates of 11/14, 12/5, 12/19 and 1/9 as well as the 1/29-30 state tournament date listed.
  5. Select the event and fill out the application.
    1. Select roles in preference order you would like to apply to (1 being most preferred)
    2. Select days you are able to volunteer.
    3. Remember to add additional comments if you have specific restrictions on your time
    4. Click “Submit”
  6. You will be returned to the “Volunteer Role Applications” page.
  7. Repeat steps 3-5 to apply to multiple events.

Attached are in the instructions that can be found on the website as well. They provide screenshots of each of these steps.

FIRST 25

 

FIRST Robotics Kick Off

On September 12th, Rhode Island FIRST Robotics held their Kick Off event on our East Greenwich campus.  During the event this years theme was announced, which is Res-Q.

Special thanks go out to Erin Foster and Steve Pothier from the Robotics Welding Division of Electric Boat.  Erin and Steve spoke to the RI FTC teams on the role that robotics plays at Electric Boat.

To request additional information about FIRST Robotics contact Erin Flynn by email at eflynn@neit.edu.

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RI FIRST Tech Challenge 10th Season!

You are invited!

RI FIRST Tech Challenge 10th Season!

2015-2016 Season Kick-off

Saturday September 12, 2015 

Calling all students, educators, parents, mentors, and volunteers who have an interest in robotics!  The Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) sponsored by New England Institute of Technology invites you to the kick off the 2015-2016 robotic seasons!

The FIRST Robotic Kickoff will feature a keynote presentation from Electric Boat as well as workshops offered by RI students.  The 2016 game will be revealed for the first time.  Groups interested in establishing a FIRST Tech Challenge Robotic team are encouraged to attend.  Bring your robot and try out the new game! 

Saturday September 12, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Registration at 8:30 am 

New England Institute of Technology

One New England Tech Boulevard

East Greenwich, RI

Over 37 Rhode Island teams were involved in FIRST Robotics last season.  Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge.  Don’t miss out! Teams are welcome to attend without their coach.  Please RSVP by September 8th to:  Erin Flynn, New England Institute of Technology, 401-739-5000 ext. 3462, eflynn@neit.edu.  For more information on FIRST Robotics go to http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc. For more information on New England Tech go to www.neit.edu.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology)Our mission is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

Attention Robotics Enthusiasts!

17-FIRSTIt’s time for middle and high school students who are interested in the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) to form a FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge robotics team through their school, civic group, home school or after-school program. The 2015-2016 FIRST® Kick-Off will be held on Saturday, September 12th, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at New England Tech’s East Greenwich campus, located at One New England Tech Blvd. The theme for this year’s competition will be announced at that time.

This year marks the tenth season that New England Tech has served as the sponsor and host for this exciting robotics competition. Students involved in FIRST® learn how science and technology play a key role in the real world while gaining important life skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and teamwork. New this season, teams will be using a new robot control system that utilizes Android devices and Java.  For more information, please visit www.usfirst.org

This year’s FIRST® state tournament will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016, at NEIT’s Center for Automotive Technology, 101 Access Road, Warwick, RI.  Last year, 48 teams participated. The goal is to increase that number to 55 teams for the upcoming season. All middle and high school teams interested in participating in the state tournament must first compete in one of four pre-qualifier mini competitions to be held on November 7th, November 14th, December 5th and December 19th at NEIT’s East Greenwich campus.

Erin Flynn, NEIT’s Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events, serves as Rhode Island’s FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner. She may be reached at 401-739-5000, ext. 3462 or at eflynn@neit.edu for more information.

RI robot maker building a bridge over workforce skills gap

New England Institute of Technology’s (NEIT) NEW Associate Degree program in Advanced Manufacturing Technology has been developed in conjunction with companies like Yushin America to address a critical need for its workforce.

The new Advanced Manufacturing Technology degree, as part of NEIT’s Bachelor’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering Technology, is designed to assist employers in hiring individuals with the right skills. Yushin America in Cranston, RI, has hired more than 60 NEIT graduates of the Manufacturing Engineering Technology program.

From Providence Journal:

Tom Gilbride, an automation and robotic technician, teaches and aligns a robot at the Yushin plant in Cranston. Governor Raimondo last month spotlighted the company as an example of advanced manufacturing — the high-tech, high-end descendant of the manufacturing that sustained Rhode Island for centuries before yielding to overseas competition. The Providence Journal/Mary Murphy

Nicholas Salcedo, a robotics technician at Yushin, an advanced manufacturer in Cranston, gets a robotic arm ready to run specified actions before it is shipped to a company in Texas to be integrated into that company’s automation. The Providence Journal/Mary Murphy

 

Rhode Islanders may do a double-take when they hear Governor Raimondo talk about manufacturing as a key to reviving the economy and creating jobs.

After all, isn’t manufacturing all about the past? Doesn’t she see all those closed brick factories?  Didn’t manufacturing jobs peak in the 1940s, and haven’t they been sliding ever since?

But Raimondo is talking about a different type of manufacturing, called advanced manufacturing, that produces precise, engineered-to-order, high-end products for the medical-device, defense, aerospace and other industries.

This manufacturing is all about the future, and it pays middle-income wages.

But she pointed out they are not the low-skill manufacturing jobs of the past, but newer, advanced manufacturing jobs that require highly trained workers. Rhode Island should be primed to take advantage.

“We need the skills to fill the jobs that are our opportunity,” she said.

After Raimondo visited the Yushin America facility in Cranston last month to outline her plan to create jobs and revamp the state’s workforce training system, I talked with Michael Greenhalgh, operations director at Yushin.

He said Yushin, a unit of Yushin Precision Equipment Co. Ltd. of Japan, is completing a $2-million expansion and wants to hire 14 more workers. Some would be at a starting pay of $12 to $13 an hour. Others would be paid about $50,000 a year.

But, Greenhalgh can’t find workers with the skills he needs.

But the real answer is more qualified candidates coming out of the vocational and technical schools or colleges, or better training of workers who are in transition from declining industries.

It’s a good idea, but I don’t think Rhode Island can wait years for a regional solution.

State leaders should already be working to figure out how to close the skills gap.

The state has fallen behind its neighbors in advanced manufacturing. But with the right focus and commitment, there’s no reason it can’t catch up and overtake its competitors.

Manufacturing, an old industry that’s retooling for the future, deserves a solid second look.

Source: John Kostrzewa: R.I. robot maker building a bridge over workforce skills gap – News – providencejournal.com – Providence, RI

 

If you would like additional information about any of New England Tech’s over 40 Associate, Bachelor’s, online and Master’s degree programs, including Advanced Manufacturing Technology.

More Information | Apply Now

Contact the Admissions Office at 800-736-7744 or email NEITAdmissions@neit.edu 

National Robotics Week: igus Celebrates with Robot Block Party

We will be there.  Will you?

From Design News:

At the end of this week, which is National Robotics Week 2015, igus will celebrate by exhibiting at the Rhode Island Robot Block Party. The plastic bearings leader — which also makes cables, cable carriers, linear bearings, and linear guides — will demonstrate its robot-related products at the event and provide robot giveaways to lucky winners during the event on Saturday, April 11.

The second-annual Robot Block Party will take place at Brown University’s Pizzitola Sports Center, between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. It’s hosted by the Rhode Island School of the Future and the Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative at Brown. The non-profit Rhode Island Students of the Future uses youth robotics to engage young people in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and manufacturing through youth robotics.

More than 50 hands-on exhibits, demonstrations, and displays will be available at the party from schools, universities, companies, and non-profit organizations around the area, including Brown, the New England Institute of Technology, and Hasbro’s Animatronics Lab. Although this is a STEM event, all ages are welcome. The demonstrations and exhibit are focused on helping everyone, not just kids, discover how robots are being used in education, toy design, and manufacturing. You can find out more about the event and register for free tickets here.

Design News – STEM Connection – igus Celebrates National Robotics Week at the Robot Block Party.

2014-2015 FIRST Tech Challenge Winners

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The top four teams advancing to the Eastern Super Regional in Scranton PA in March will be #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics, #154 Burrillville, #5030 Mt. Hope HS and 8129 Warwick Veterans Memorial High School. 

Team in the Final match were  

Winning Alliance Award

This award will be given to the winning alliance represented in the final match of the competition, usually consisting of three teams.

#154 Burrillville, #8129 Warwick Veterans, #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics 

Finalist Alliance Award

This award will be given to the finalist alliance represented in the final match of the competition, usually consisting of three teams

#4531 Mt. Hope HS, #6217 The Fellowship, #5030 Mt. Hope HS 

FIRST Judges Awards 

Inspire Award

This formally judged award is given to the team that truly embodied the ‘challenge’ of the FTC program. The team that receives this award is chosen by the judges as having best represented a role model FTC Team. This team is a top contender for all other judging categories and is a strong competitor on the field.

Top 3 Teams for this award were: #121 Aquidneck Island, #5030 Mt. Hope HS, #6527 N. Kingstown HS,

The winner was #121 Aquidneck Island Robotics

Think Award

This judged award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the build season. The engineering notebook is the key reference for judges to help identify the most deserving team.

Top 3 teams for this award were #8129 Warwick Veterans, #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #5030 Mt. Hope HS

The winner was #8129 Warwick Veterans Memorial High School

Connect Award

This judged award is given to the team that most connected with their local community and the engineering community.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #6217 The Fellowship, #6891 Central Falls HS

The winner was #6527 North Kingstown High School 

Rockwell Collins Innovate Award

The Rockwell Collins Innovate Award celebrates a team that not only thinks outside the box, but also has the ingenuity and inventiveness to make their designs come to life.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #154 Burrillville, #4531 Mt. Hope HS, #8129 Warwick Veterans

The winner was #154 Burrillville 

PTC Design Award

This judged award recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic. All successful robots have innovative design aspects; however, the PTC Design Award is presented to teams that incorporate industrial design elements into their solution.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #4578 N. Providence HS, #6527 N. Kingstown HS, #5030 Mt. Hope HS

The winner was #4578 North Providence High School 

Motivate Award                                                                                                                                                 This judged award celebrates the team that exemplifies the essence of the FTC competition through team spirit and enthusiasm. They show their spirit through costumes and fun outfits, a team cheer or outstanding spirit.

The top 3 teams for this award were: #6217 The Fellowship, #9009 Scituate HS, #252 The Wheeler School

The winner was #6217 The Fellowship 

For more information on the FIRST Tech Challenge or programs at New England Tech contact Erin Flynn at eflynn@neit.edu or 401-739-5000