After weeks of preparing, the Manchester Essex Regional High School Robotics team attended the US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Kickoff event in Manchester, N.H. last Saturday to receive this year's challenge, which is entitled “Rebound Rumble".
"The Rebound RumbleSM robotics game is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops earn the Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opponent Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points” (http://www.usfirst.org).
The team received a box of parts and access to the rules for the challenge. They then returned to the high school at around 2 p.m. and began to brainstorm strategies and designs for the robot that will be entered in this year’s competition. They will now be meeting every day after school and on weekends to accomplish their goal of finishing the robot in 5 weeks. That will allow them to have extra time to practice operating their robot before the regional competition at Boston University’s Agganis Arena in March.
Mentors assist the team in the design and construction of the robot, and the team is funded by donations from The Spaulding Trust, The Hooper Fund, parents, and other local supporters.