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

Clash of robots puts technology skills to test

Fantastic story in the Warwick Beacon highlighting the First Robotics competition that took place on our campus over the weekend. Congratulations to all who competed.

via Clash of robots puts technology skills to test – Warwick Beacon.

While most were focused on the big New England Patriots game, the students who participated in Saturday’s For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) competition proved that they, too, were the weekend’s real winners.

“I would say the majority of these kids do not participate in sports,” joked Warwick Veterans Memorial High School robotics team coach Larry West.  “They’ve put a lot of time and effort into this, and this contest gives kids another way to compete rather than through sports.”

Hundreds of students and spectators filled the New England Institute of Technology’s Center for Automotive Technology (NEIT) building with Super Bowl sized enthusiasm. They’d come for a competition featuring deflate-proof wiffle and ping-pong balls, and tech savvy young adults who’d journeyed for months to engage in futuristic robot skirmishes.

“We’ve put over 150 hours into this, definitely,” said lead programmer Kevin Sanita of the Veterans team, which goes by the name Cane Bots. “It’s intense.”

The daylong event was a flurry of activity that made Star Trek’s faster than light warp drive technology seem slow and outdated by comparison. Thirty-three teams, comprised of 250 middle and high school students from throughout the state, met to showcase robots that they’d designed, built and programmed.

“Today our hope is that the students participating enjoy the competition while at the same time use math and engineering principals to win,” said Steve Kitchin, NEIT’s Vice President for Corporate Education and Training.

The competition gives teens programming and prototype development experience and problem solving and team building skills while constructing robots to competition specifications. Winning teams go on to compete at regional and national competitions for college scholarships. Dozens of robots filled the center, partaking in a series of contests with serious sets of rules and guidelines.

“We understand that ensuring that young people have opportunities like this, and begin to think of careers in science and engineering, are critical to the future of our state,” said Congressman David Cicilline at the event. “In addition to being great fun, watching [students] do this gives us a lot of hope in the future of our state and country.”

Warwick’s contingent of students was well represented by both public and private schools, with Vets, Rocky Hill School and Bishop Hendricken participating.

“This is a culmination of their four months of efforts in trying to put this robot together to accomplish these tasks,” said Hendricken coach Rick Notardonato, whose team went through three robot designs this season. Their robot’s name is Robo Hawk. “This is an opportunity for them to do hands on learning that they don’t really have an opportunity to do in any of their classes, it’s really big for them,” he said.

The contest pits teams against one another as their robots completed automated- and team-guided tasks. The competition was closely monitored by referees and judges to ensure fairness and quality.

“I’m an engineer, and I think this is so important for kids. I absolutely love it,” said Helen Greathouse, who served as head judge for the eighth year. “There’s a gracious professionalism that’s such a big part of this event. We like to see teams helping each other. One team gave another a new battery; they loan each other tools. There’s almost an alliance between teams that may have never worked together before.”

The contest saw tremendous excitement early on with Warwick Vets team stunning the crowd by performing exceptionally well during an early round. Their high score came in the “Cascade Effect” event, where robots collect and strategically place wiffle and ping-pong balls.

“We’ve had one competition so far and we’re on our way to our second,” said Sanita after the round. “The first one, the autonomous part didn’t go exactly as planned, but it was very close. We got good points, we got 384 points in that round!”

“Did you see what Vets did during that round? That may be a national scoring record, that was an incredible performance,” said Hendricken coach Notardonato.

While the competition saw the Aquidneck Island, Burrillville and Mt. Hope teams advance to the Eastern Super Regional Tournament in Scranton, Pa. in March, the Warwick Vets team’s success in the competition was recognized when they received the competition’s Think Award.

According to competition rules, the judged Think Award is given to the team that best reflects the “journey” the team took as they experienced the engineering design process during the season. The team’s engineering notebook, a log kept throughout the year, is the reference used by judges in determining the award.

“This competition is a cross curricular format. There’s English used, the kids have to maintain a notebook for this, and math and programming go hand and hand,” said coach West. “I’m just really proud of the kids for getting together and working so well.”

Regardless of the final outcome, it was clear that all the students involved were winners for achieving so much from their positive experiences.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in this, it’s been amazing,” said programmer Sanita. “Whether or not we win, it’s still amazing what we did, and it’s amazing what all these people here did.”

Read more at The Warwick Beacon.

NEIT to Host FIRST® Robotics Competition

NEIT_Logo_282_136_TAGEast Greenwich, RI – New England Institute of Technology will sponsor the ninth annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge on Saturday, January 31, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Serving as Rhode Island’s FIRST® Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner, NEIT will host 33 Rhode Island middle and high school robotics teams at the college’s Center for Automotive Technology located at 101 Access Road, Warwick, Rhode Island.

Accomplished inventor, Dean Kamen, founded FIRST® in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in students through the fun of robotics. The goal is to engage students to develop problem solving, critical thinking, and innovative reasoning skills using custom-designed robots.  The participating Rhode Island teams will compete for the chance to travel to regional and national competitions.

New England Tech will serve as the central point of contact for all participating teams. The event is free and open to the public.  For more information on the FIRST® Tech Challenge, contact Erin Flynn, Manager of Admissions Outreach and Events at New England Tech at 401-739-5000, ext. 3462 or by email eflynn@neit.edu. To learn more about the FIRST® organization, please visit www.usfirst.org.

FIRST Robotics Qualifier is Saturday

FIRST events are open to the public and are free to attend.

Anyone interested in robotics and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields will enjoy this competition. YES! Even math can be fun. Best times to observe the competition is 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
FIRST Tech Schedule 2014-2015

SAMI Receives Its Second $2.5 Million Grant

New England Tech has received its second $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand programs currently offered through the college’s Shipbuilding/Marine Advanced Manufacturing Institute (SAMI), located at the college’s Post Road campus. This additional $2.5 million will allow SAMI to offer new programs that will include Shipfitting, Pipe Welding, Sheetmetal, Pipefitting and Robotics.

SAMINEIT’s initial $2.5 million TAACCCT Grant awarded in March, 2013, is slated to train 400 SAMI participants with the technical skills needed in the shipbuilding/marine and advanced manufacturing industries Now, an additional 200 Rhode Island residents who are either unemployed, underemployed, TAA-eligible, veterans, and/or recent high school graduates will be served through the increased funding. More than 140 individuals are currently enrolled or have completed SAMI’s welding or advanced manufacturing programs, and the majority of program completers have been hired by SAMI employer partners.

 

Tech First at FIRST Tech

Great blog story about FIRST and the importance of STEM fields from Congressman Jim Langevin.

From Fall 2014 Congressman Jim Langevin:

Tech First at FIRST Tech

It is a joy to attend FIRST robotics competitions each year, to watch the program grow into the towering success that it is today, and to see the interest and participation increase year to year. These programs are vital to spurring interest in the fields of science, math, engineering and technology.

As co-chair of the Congressional Career and Technical Education Caucus, I continually advocate for programs that increase enrollment in STEM fields. Closing the skills gap by giving students and workers the tools to succeed in the modern economy is how we will create an economy built to last. FIRST is one of my favorite student outreach programs, and it has already inspired countless students to pursue careers in STEM. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST as it is known, was founded by my friend Dean Kamen – a brilliant innovator who uses his ideas to push the boundaries of health care, science and technology. Among his many distinguished achievements, he has invented the first portable insulin pump, an advanced robotic arm, the Segway and my personal IBOT wheelchair.

Dean can now add teacher to his resume, as the FIRST competition has done an exceptional job at engaging young people and getting them excited about learning. That enthusiasm is palpable. I couldn’t believe how excited the students were at the FIRS

via Fall 2014 | Congressman Jim Langevin.

NEIT gets 2nd federal grant of $2.5 million for shipbuilding institute

From The Providence Journal:

The New England Institute of Technology has won a second $2.5-million federal grant to expand the shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing institute it created when it won its earlier grant in 2013.

Steven H. Kitchin, vice president of corporate education and training at New England Institute of Technology.

New England Tech will add five programs to its two core training programs at the institute, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Those new programs will offer shipfitting, pipe welding, sheetmetal, pipefitting and robotics classes to 200 Rhode Island students.

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed hailed the grant Sunday night as the kind of business-education partnership Rhode Island needs to get people back to work and improve the economy.

New England Tech is one of 71 grant recipients the federal labor department is expected to announce Monday, with $450 million in grants to community colleges around the country.

This is the final round of a four-year program to invest nearly $2 billion in a career and training initiative, the department announced. The idea behind the federal stimulus money is to expand the ability of community colleges — and those like New England Tech that offer two-year associate’s degrees — to partner with local employers and create training programs to prepare people for jobs in high-demand careers.

The U.S. Department of Labor has invested nearly $11 million in Rhode Island over the last four years — “part of a long-term commitment to ensure that workers have access to training for the specific skills employers need to stay competitive in the global economy,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said in a statement.

Reached earlier Sunday night by telephone before Reed’s office had confirmed the grant, a New England Tech vice president said he welcomed the prospect of additional federal funds.

“The college is obviously thrilled by the support that the U.S. Department of Labor is providing to our college to continue New England Tech’s 75-year history of preparing people for positions in the labor market,” said Steven H. Kitchin, vice president of corporate education and training at the Warwick institute.

Since New England Tech won its first $2.5-million grant in March 2013 for its shipbuilding and advanced manufacturing institute, the school has also raised $440,000 in funding for the program from the Governor’s Workforce Board and $50,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation, Kitchin said.

The shipbuilding institute currently has close to 140 participants working to earn certificates of completion, Kitchin said. The curriculum is designed for students to work in one of two labs — a manufacturing lab, which prepares them for work in basic machine operations and advanced computer numerical control, and a welding lab.

A federal project officer recently visited the program to monitor its progress, Kitchin said.

“We received high praise for our linkages with the private sector, that our curriculum was indeed focused, and they were quite pleased with the labs we had created,” he said.

The federal labor department hoped its funding would encourage colleges to find ways to sustain training programs after the federal funding runs out, Kitchin said. He said one way to do that is to turn the programs from certificate programs into degree-granting programs. New England Tech expects to announce soon that it will be adding certain degree-granting programs, he said.

The shipbuilding institute has a flexible admissions policy. Anyone interested in applying can find more information online at samiri.org.

via N.E. Tech gets 2nd federal grant of $2.5 million for shipbuilding institute | Business Notes – Business | providencejournal.com | The Providence Journal.

NEIT Receives Its Second $2.5 Million TAACCCT Grant

Funding to be Used to Train Unemployed Rhode Islanders

New England Institute of Technology (NEIT) announced it has been awarded its second $2.5 million Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the programs currently being offered to unemployed Rhode Island residents through the college’s Shipbuilding/Marine Advanced Manufacturing Institute known as SAMI.

TAACCCT provides community colleges and other institutions of higher education with funds to expand and improve their ability to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less and prepare eligible participants for employment in high-wage, high-skill , in-demand occupations. New England Tech is the only college in Rhode Island to receive this latest TAACCCT award.

This additional $2.5 million will afford NEIT the opportunity to offer five new programs through SAMI that will include Shipfitting, Pipe Welding, Sheetmetal, Pipefitting and Robotics. NEIT’s employer partners have identified these occupations as having multiple opportunities in the current labor market. They also see the need for these skills trending upward over the next three years. More than 200 Rhode Island residents who are either unemployed, underemployed, TAA-eligible, veterans, and/or recent high school graduates will be served through the increased funding.

NEIT received its initial $2.5 million TAACCCT Grant in March, 2013, which was slated to train 400 SAMI participants with the technical skills needed in the shipbuilding/marine and advanced manufacturing industries throughout the three year life of the grant. In addition to the federal grants, New England Tech was awarded $440,000 from the Governor’s Workforce Board and $50,000 from the Rhode Island Foundation to be used for SAMI programs.

SAMI participants also receive supportive services through case management, work readiness activities, intense hands-on industry based job skills and evaluation activities, OSHA 10 safety certification, and employment placement assistance. Today, nearly 140 individuals are currently enrolled or have completed SAMI’s welding or advanced manufacturing programs. The majority of program completers have been hired by SAMI employer partners that include General Dynamics/Electric Boat, Senesco Marine, Blount Boats, Guill Tool & Engineering, Swissline Precision Manufacturing, RI Carbide, Pilgrim Screw, Aerotek Staffing Agency, American Welding,  Rice Machinery, and Little Rhody Machine and Repair.

Steven H. Kitchin, Vice President, Corporate Education and Training at New England Institute of Technology, stated “Over the last four years, the U.S. Department of Labor has invested nearly $11 million in Rhode Island. New England Tech is proud to do its part in putting Rhode Islanders back to work by providing labor market driven training. These participants will acquire the technical skills needed to fill high demand jobs. To keep a pipeline of skilled workers available, New England Tech plans to develop degree granting programs for these occupations.”

To learn more about the SAMI program and eligibility requirements, call 401-739-5000, ext. 3700 or visit www.samiri.org.

Under the leadership of President Richard I. Gouse, New England Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit technical college with an enrollment of more than 3,000 students and is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc. Founded in 1940, the college offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and on-line degrees in more than 40 technical and business programs. Each degree program is taught with a proven combination of technical expertise coupled with hands-on learning. For more information, call 800-736-7744 or visit www.neit.edu. Follow news of the college on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Instagram, and Tumblr.

RI FIRST Tech Challenge 9th Season Kick-off

First Championship 2012. St Louis.2014-2015 Season Kick-off Saturday September 6, 2014 

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 2014-2015 robotic season!  The FIRST Robotic Kick-Off event will offer workshops as well as revealing the 2015 game for the first time.  Groups interested in establishing a FIRST Tech Challenge Robotic team are encouraged to attend. 

Saturday September 6, 2014

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

 

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 3th 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 

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.