In 1961 President John F. Kennedy challenged this nation to “[land] a man on the Moon and return] him safely to the Earth, [by the end of the decade.]” Less than 9 years later (1969) Apollo 11 landed on the moon. The average age of the engineers of the Apollo program was 26 which means that they were 18 year old high school students when Kennedy issued the challenge.
The year 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission. The landing is hailed as a great advancement in human engineering, and this year’s competition is a tribute to this historic event. In honor of that achievement all those involved with the Apollo program this years game is called Lunacy.
The game involves placing balls in the baskets of the opposing team. Each of hese baskets is towed behind a robot. Human players can also attempt to toss balls into robots from the sidelines. The whole game is played on a surface of very low friction with low traction wheels, simulating driving a robot on the moon. Shoving penalties have been removed, insuring, in combination with the new surface, an exciting and high contact game.
The competition was revealed to us via a live NASA satellite transmission from New Hampshire in the St. Louis Science Center Planetarium. The room was packed with local teams eager to see how the next six weeks of their lives would be spent. Before the game was announced, there were speeches from important members of FIRST including, Chairman of the Board, John Abele, President Paul Gudonis, Founder Dean Kamen and Game Design Committee members, Woodie Flowers and Dave Lavery. They were introduced by 18-year-old members of FIRST teams. As soon as we saw our game, however, we were all brimming with ideas for the robot. We look forward to a successful build season!
By: J.D, Student, Brehm Preparatory SchoolJanuary 3rd, 2009
Topic: Lunacy News, Robotics News, Team Produced News Tags: None