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Getting Involved with Our Future (FIRST)

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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
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Watching people's joining posts, I know there are many retired individuals from many professions that have an interest in robotics.  Some of you might also have interest in mentoring the budding future engineers that will be creating our world.  Turns out there is a robotics movement that doesn't involve violence and destroying other people's robots.  

What struck me strange was that I've never heard of this organization that has been around for over 30 years.  And the only reason I've now heard about it is because a mother and her son came to my library Maker's group.  The organization is called FIRST https://www.firstinspires.org/ and promotes the creation of robots for ages 4 through 18.  

At the high school level, they are presented with a robotic task in December and they have many events at various levels as teams compete toward a regional, national and then international level.  The World finals are now going on for this year's task.

On the FIRST website there are many ways you can get involved with a group in your area as well as via remote access to some distant team.  I've joined and gone through the obligatory background checks necessary for working with children.

Who knows... maybe I'll run into you at some future event!  Good luck.

VBR,

Inq

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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robotBuilder
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@inq

Although remote controlled machines can, and are, very useful they are not "real" robots although the term robot is often assigned to them.  

A "real" robot competition is more like two or more teams programming their robots to achieve some task all by themselves and seeing which one is better at it.

 


   
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Inq
 Inq
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Dictionary Definitions from Oxford LanguagesLearn more
noun
  1. (especially in science fiction) a machine resembling a human being and able to replicate certain human movements and functions automatically.
    "the robot closed the door behind us"

@robotbuilder,

I think you are being way too petty about what a robot is or is not!  I don't see you doing it (or me for that matter).  Why are you expecting a teenager (full of hormones) to do what we haven't / can't... much less a middle school or even a four year old starting out with Lego robots.  Besides, if you actually took the time to look into it, a portion of the event must be done autonomously.  But, seeing that you'd rather criticize a child's efforts at STEM, I don't think you'd be a good candidate to influence the future generations.

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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robotBuilder
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@inq 

My comments were not directed at the children.

Building stuff is highly educational and fun and may spark an interest in some young people to take up engineering. I am not critical of that at all. I have two young grandchildren and would be happy to see someone like yourself mentoring them in engineering projects if that was of interest to them. The boy loves figuring out how mechanical stuff works and building things. The girl is more into the arts and fashion. I learned from my own two children that they will follow their own path in life regardless of what a parent may offer them.

I call a spade a spade and I would be pointing out that these are just remote controlled machines. The young people who get that will be the ones that will be figuring out how to make them intelligent and may not even have much talent in the engineering side of robotics.  When I was young it was the idea of a thinking machine that fascinated me although I didn't have the intellectual ability to follow that interest beyond a hobby level tinkering. Back then it was called cybernetics which recognized the difference between "thinking" and the embodiment of it in a mechanical or biological systems.

So I have just liked your first post and have nothing but positive thoughts about your desire to pass on your expertise to future generations.

 


   
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Inq
 Inq
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@robotbuilder,

Maybe, I was overly sensitive to your comment.  I haven't minded such comments when you focused them at me.  I should be held and have been encouraged (goaded) to the higher goals you are striving to set.  But... just looking at the average post on this forum... does ANY post live up to the upper range of the spectrum being (1) wind up toy (2) RC controlled, no computer (3) Pre-programmed, blind autonomy (4) Sensor feedback autonomy (5) AI type self-learning autonomy?  I don't recall any.  There might be some I missed.  Even posts that have something to do with an RC driven bot (level 2) of some sort are well below the one percentile of posts here.  The fact that these children are doing level 4, exceeds anything I've seen on the forum.  They start over on a yearly basis with only a couple of months to design, build, debug, train and execute is nothing short of amazing!

I think we (meaning you and I and several others of the older regulars) have commented on what we see as the absence of interest of the children in STEM subjects.  I was actually shocked to find this group at one of the local high schools.  I would want to support them even if they were only doing Lego robots at the high-school level.  That they design, iterate, assemble metal, motors, gears, electronics, sensors, software, 3D prints in their robots is just EXCITING to me.  

https://smokymountainrobot.weebly.com/

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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Inq
 Inq
(@inq)
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We had a festival yesterday here in our local town and they had a booth showing their past robots.  It was refreshing to listen to the kids talking about their robots.  Most all are college bound in technical fields.  It gives me hope for the future!  

My hope for this thread was merely to make others aware that this robotics program exists and that they need mentors that this forum has in abundance.  It doesn't take an expert.  It just takes someone that is willing to share whatever knowledge they have and encourage the next generation.  It doesn't even have to be in your home town.  

https://www.firstinspires.org/ways-to-help/volunteer/mentors-and-coaches

3 lines of code = InqPortal = Complete IoT, App, Web Server w/ GUI Admin Client, WiFi Manager, Drag & Drop File Manager, OTA, Performance Metrics, Web Socket Comms, Easy App API, All running on ESP8266...
Even usable on ESP-01S - Quickest Start Guide


   
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robotBuilder
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@inq

I haven't minded such comments when you focused them at me.

Sorry if it seemed I was being negative about you wanting to mentor and encouraging others to think about doing the same thing. It was an off topic response.

It was never directed at you, it was just a general response motivated from my continual observation of people confusing remote controlled cars (made to look like robots) with actual robots and claiming they are doing robotics. Robots involve mechanics, electronics, software and autonomous behaviors. A simple light seeking/avoiding machine is a real robot in that sense.

I don't actually see the lack of student's interest in STEM subjects to be our future problem. Those few with an interest will pursue it if given the opportunity, most others will just use the resulting products. Our future and current problems are social and how resources are shared and wars abated but that is another topic for another forum 🙂


   
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