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Dover, NH team demos their FIRST Robotics robot

Team Shockwave of Dover, NH Demo Their FIRST Robotics Robot

To top off an already amazing representation of Granite State films, filmmakers, producers and actors, Thursday’s NH Night screenings concluded with SlingShot. The film gives viewers a glimpse into the life of Dean Kamen, NH Team Shockwave of Doverknown for inventing the Segway, as he works to solve the world’s water crisis.

An inspiring, witty and well-captured film by Paul Lazarus, SlingShot instills the idea that we must “take a different approach to the problem,” as Kamen says. Kamen may be well known for Segway and his work for global clean drinking water, but he also holds another project near and dear to his heart: FIRST Robotics.

FIRST Robotics was founded by Kamen in 1989, for the purpose of inspiring young people to become innovators. Headquartered in Manchester, NH, the FIRST Robotics Competition is comprised of students in Grades 9-12. Teams work for 6 weeks from a common kit of parts provided by FIRST to create a robot that will compete in regional competitions with the ultimate goal of competing at the FIRST Championship. In the upcoming season, the program is projected to have over 400,000 students from 80 different countries involved. To make this possible, FIRST is supported by the work of many volunteers—over 150,000 of them!

Following the NH Night Welcome, Don Bossi, President of FIRST, joined the crowd in welcoming Team Shockwave of Dover, NH to the stage. The group of high school students brought along a little surprise—their First Robotics robot. The team shared the many challenges that go into competing at a FIRST Robotics championship. Only six weeks before the competition, are they told what “game” their robot will have to play. Not only does their robot have to compete against other robots, but they must also be programmed to be compatible with other robots—their “alliances,” which they are told the morning of the championship.

Team Shockwave had a lot to show for all of the work that they put into creating this year’s robot. The team demoed the robot—racing it across stage and throwing balls up into the air. Very impressive, Team Shockwave!

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