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


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 2282, 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.!real-life-mario-kart/c1m0d

I’ll blog again soon


I don’t know why they announced those awards now instead of waiting for Championship. :confused:

The Mario Kart video is cool!

Panteras is 2283 not 2282. They also won an EI in Dallas and run an inspiring program.

^Well, in the past two years, Dean’s List was practically held in a secret bunker, they sprung the Woodie Flowers Award without any announcement while I believe the winner and team weren’t even in the stands, and they announced the CCA in the middle of a concert the night before they actually gave out the award.

Be on the look-out for awards at championships! They can be at any time, in any place, without warning. :smiley:

Building a real mario kart course is now on my bucket list. That is so epic.

This smells like a game hint to me… how epic would it be to have a Mario Kart game next year???

I have to argue with ‘secret bunker’ - it’s right on the agenda if you read it … in the same ballroom where the other two FIRST programs have their opening ceremonies…

Also, FIRSTers complain that the awards ceremonies are too long, and then complain when they try to give out awards where a team or person may not necessarily be there, because they’re announcing the award early. (Note, I’m not talking about the concert here, because that was definitely not the right way to do CCA that year.)

Pick a side. Do you want longer ceremonies with more awards, or do you want the recognition for some awards to still be announced, but not take up your Saturday afternoon…

Congratulations to Panteras, and to Parker. Nicely done.

No one has addressed the measures FIRST has taken to ensure Einstein runs smooothly. I am glad FIRST is willing to run practice matches to make sure everything is running. Hopefully, 2012 doesn’t ever happen again. No storms would be cool too.

Did it. #1 seed, event finalists.

There’s a lot of measures planned. Trust me, the volunteers and HQ are trying hard to make sure things run smoothly. We all want the excitement to only happen on the field.

I thought the Dean’s List award was an awesome event to attend last year. We were honored to have a finalist, Garrett Witowski.

It was definitely well attended and all seemed to have a blast there.

Alright! Go Panteras! I love that team! They always have crazy high energy at Champs! A few years ago after they lost in eliminations, they came to sit by team 33 and enthusiastically cheered for us until we were eliminated. They then traded shirts with a bunch of us. I still have my Panteras button up shirt. It’s one of my favorites.

Now, what did they submit for this new award?
Can we see their essay and the awesome media that they must have?

Also, I wonder if that award will have more clear criteria in the future. It was interesting to see the birth of a new award, and I’m eager to see more teams’ submissions to see how everyone interpreted it.

I remember specific complaints about the location being hard to find/get to in 2011 (EDIT: Here is the first one I found on CD). The first thing I did this year was block off time for the Dean’s List presentation to recognize not only the finalists from both 422 and 2614 but all of the others as well.

I’ve heard complaints about the Einstein spectacle being a drawn-out process, but not awards ceremonies. I may be in the minority who thinks that we are not recognizing unique merits of teams well enough. I wish regional committees were allowed to do something like creating an award that is physically and symbolically unique to the event, and recognized outreach efforts more officially outside of Chairman’s. I’ll probably get a better sense of it all after I attend my first Championship Event.

I guess when you group a lot of people together as FIRSTers, you’ll find differing opinions, but that’s mine. I’m content with everything, I’m just pointing out what I see to be room for improvement.

The Judge’s Award is pretty much anything the judges want it to be. They see a team doing something unique worth recognizing and tailor the award to that. At most of the events I’ve been to, the award usually focuses more on the team dynamics than any of the technical aspects of their robot, as there are already plenty of awards for that.

It’s not necessarily the regional committee creating an award unique to the event, but it comes pretty close.

Am I the only one who doesn’t mind the Awards Ceremonies (at any level of competition) and the way Einstein is ran?

I don’t know, I guess for me, after all the hard work to get to that point (both by the teams to make it to whatever point we’re at, or all the hard work the event organizers put in to make it happen) I’ll never understand why we’re in such a rush to call it a day and have it all be over.

My $0.02

Thanks Carolyn!! Team 33 has been a great inspiration for us, and we loved cheering with you at the championship in 2007!!

Yes you can! We have just uploaded our 2013 Media Plan, as it was submitted, to our website:

Greetings from Mexico City to all the CD community!