In December I posted See winning Cybersonics robotics entry without installing additional software. In March I posted FIRSTbase: The Autodesk Source for FIRST Robotics Competition Teams. PR Manager, Channel and Education, Angela Simoes, filed this report:
"Robot coming through! Robot coming through!" We heard this countless times throughout the four-day FIRST Robotics Competition National Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Pictures and stories really do not do this event justice. Everyone should go to FIRST at least once to experience the genius that is our youth.
10,400 students from more than 20 countries
700 volunteers 6 playing fields
Autodesk has been a proud sponsor of this competition since it began in 1992, and in total has provided more than $106 million in free software, training, mentoring resources, and funding. This year alone our support totals $17 million.
We often get mention of the fact that we are sponsors, but the more important message is the WHY. So why is Autodesk involved? The answer is very simple and is best summed up in one line from an article in metromode media, a local Detroit online news outlet that covered the Detroit regional competition:
California-based Autodesk began sponsoring the competition 17 years ago, not just for fun and games, but to attract teens to careers in engineering.
As part of our support, Autodesk held two speaking engagements:
- Brenda Discher, Senior Director of Marketing, Manufacturing Solutions, emphasized the need for more engineers at the FIRST Tech Challenge Judged Awards Ceremony.
- Senior Director, Worldwide Education Programs, Paul Mailhot, reminded everyone why engineering is cool and why Autodesk is committed to engineering education at the FIRST Robotics Awards Ceremony.
Paul gave out the awards for the prestigious Autodesk Design Competition.
- Team 234, Cyber Blue of Indianapolis, Indiana, was awarded the Autodesk Inventor Award.
- Team 867, Absolute Value of Pasadena, California, won the Autodesk Visualization Award for their 30 second animation that best reflected this year’s theme, "Designing an Invention for their Community."
We created our own home-made B-Roll of students working on their robots, utilizing Autodesk software, and the competition itself and have posted it to Autodesk’s YouTube Channel. As part of our FIRST "Championship" sponsorship, Autodesk staffed a booth in the middle of the FRC pits area where teams worked on their robots. Educational presentations were conducted all three days of the event on both Inventor and 3DS Max by Phil Dollan and Ted Boardman. Expert Autodesk staff members were available at kiosks in the booth for one-on-one questions and demos on Inventor, 3DS Max and Education. Ted and Phil also hosted their 9th annual show where they highlighted entries from the Autodesk Design Competition and awarded teams Teddies and Phillies for their work. (See Flickr photos.)
FIRST Robotics continues to be a key event as part of Autodesk’s overall commitment to providing students and teachers with the resources and technologies to increase the number of qualified engineers that graduate globally every year.