Newton’s FIRST Robotics team, the Ligerbots, was one of three teams collaborating to win the two-day NE FIRST District Qualifying Event at Worcester Polytechnic Institute this week, competing against 38 other teams from across New England. The Ligerbots also won the event’s Creativity Award, sponsored by Xerox to celebrate ingenuity and originality in design, use of components, or strategy of play — in this case, the unique way that the Ligerbots’ robot employed a set of pistons in its design.
The Ligerbot’s next competitions will be the Northeastern University District Qualifying Event on March 28-29 and the New England FRC Regional Championship at Boston University on April 10-12. All FIRST events are free, open to the public, and a blast to watch.
Each FIRST season starts with the announcement of the rules and scoring for the year’s game, which is played by all FIRST robots in all competitions throughout the season. For a quick understanding of this year’s game (called Aerial Assist) and how it’s scored, see this brief animation video. Each team studies the games rules, brainstorms a strategy for this game they’ve never played before, and then designs and builds a robot to play the game with that strategy. Robots are built within a six-week period. In this video you can see the Ligerbots robot in one of this week’s competitions (it’s #2877, the middle one on the Red Alliance). Many more Ligerbots videos are here.
The Ligerbots team draws 46 students from Newton South HS (LIons) and Newton North HS (tiGERs) and is sponsored by PTC, Raytheon, the National Defense Education Program, McVittie Tax Advisors, At Once, Whole Foods, Newton Public Schools, Newton Schools Foundation, and Newton South HS.