Autodesk sponsored the recent Pacific Northwest FIRST Robotics Championship for high school students held from Thursday to Saturday last week at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in sunny and unseasonably warm Portland Oregon. There were 64 high school teams participating from the Pacific Northwest states of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington that had won local district competitions to compete in this event. In addition to the students, parents, mentors, judges, there were many Autodesk employees volunteering at the event. What an amazing and inspiring event to see the robots competing on the field that the student teams designed, built and programmed. Many of the robots even successfully operated autonomously shooting and scoring which is no small accomplishment and involved sophisticated algorithms, logic, and computer vision software code developed by the teens. So humbling and inspiring to be a part of this.
Autodesk’s own recently retired SVP Robert “Buzz” Kross spoke in Saturday’s opening ceremony. Buzz was honored with recognition of his support and participation over the years in FIRTST Robotics. Buzz talked about the benefits of FIRST, how cool it is to work at Autodesk and encouraged the students to apply as interns and as future employees, and some good advice to accomplish your life goals.
Buzz's solid advice to the students:
”Your Next Steps
1. Figure out what you love.
2. Study as long as it is practical for you.
3. Find the companies that do it.”
Autodesk had a student area complete with a castle, computers with Autodesk products for a design contest and learning, BXD Synthesis demos, 3D printers, VR demos with Oculus Rift and Avegant Glyph, a bean bag area for students to relax in, a mentors lounge with the most awesome massage chair I have ever sat and melted into, and so much more. Thank you to all the Autodesk employees that volunteered at the event and especially Andy Sears and Jamie Graham for the student area and activities.
There was a competition to design a castle out of boxes using Autodesk tools and the winners were announced. Congratulations to all entries from teams that participated. It was a great deal of fun.
1st place Team 4980
2nd Team 1983
3rd Team 2910
Here is first place castle design from Team 4980.
The boxes constructed into the castle design and then they were set free to demolish it.
The team I have been working with Team 1540 Catlin Gabel “The Flaming Chickens” placed 3rd in the PNW Championship event with their robot Zuko. They also won the highly Chairman’s Award and will be going to compete in the FIRST World Championship at the end of the month in St. Louis Missouri. What an amazing group of young talented adults.They used Autodesk Inventor to design their robot.
Here is a fine example of Autodesk love shown by high school students wearing custom made Autodesk suits. The students are Bradley and Macks from Team 2046 Bear Metal from Maple Valley Washington that were competing in the PNW FIRST Robotics Competition.
We love your creativity, style of wardrobe, and your fine robot designed using Autodesk Inventor.
A sincere and truly grateful thank you to all the students, mentors, volunteers, parents, sponsors, and anyone that helped. The FIRST Robotics changes lives and will positively impact the world we live in.