Unified Robotics - FIRST meets Special Olympics

Hi, I’m Akash from FRC 4131, and one of our team’s goals is to spread the Unified Robotics program to as many FRC teams as possible. This program is low-cost and relatively easy to start up, while having a great positive impact on participants and schools.

Unified Robotics (UR) is a partnership between FIRST and Special Olympics to provide robotics opportunities to students with intellectual disabilities at the high school and middle school level. Students with intellectual disabilities (athletes) work with students without intellectual disabilities (partners) in a 1:1 ratio (in teams of 2-6 students) to build a LEGO Mindstorms robot (EV3 or SPIKE Prime) to complete the game for the year. In the past, the game has been Sumo-style, but in 2022 it was switched into a competition where cups had to be pushed out of a circle. The build season is 6-8 weeks long (with teams meeting about once a week for an hour) and takes place in mid fall, culminating with the Unified Robotics Championship. To read more about Unified, visit https://unifiedrobotics.org/

Our team is hosting an informational Zoom meeting with Special Olympics this Thursday at 6pm for FRC teams to learn about how to start Unified teams at their school. We encourage everyone to join this short meeting to learn more! The Zoom info will be posted in the Unified Robotics server, for anyone who’s interested in joining.

Let us know if you have any questions! Hope to see you there!

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Schools in our district host a few Unified Sports events, and an arts day as well. Didn’t know there was a Unified Robotics program. Very cool.

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Yep! It’s pretty easy to get started and uses LEGO robots, so the cost is minimal. We’ve just found that most people outside the PNW (where it originated) don’t even know it’s an option!

Do yall still host the world championship for unified robotics? I swear I heard that mentioned somewhere.

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We host the Unified Championship, but UR is currently only concentrated in Washington. We’re looking into having another Unified competition in Oregon since more UR teams are starting up there.

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