ROBOT: Dean Kamen's FIRST Robotics Competition

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Wed Jan 09 2002 - 16:32:20 MST

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, nationwide competition that
teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in
an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding
experience—and a lot of fun. In 2002 the competition will reach more than
20,000 students on over 600 teams in 17 competitions. Our teams come from
Canada, Brazil, the U.K., and almost every U.S. state. The competitions are
high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused
brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines,
and deadlines.
FIRST founder and Segway inventor Dean Kamen says the contest is mainly meant
to teach kids about camaraderie and critical thinking rather than competition
"They've learned electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, how to think,
how to understand, how to work on big problems, how professionals use their
minds and their tools to change the world," Kamen said.
"I want to see these kids have an opportunity to grow and use resources that
would not have been available to them if NASA had not participated," said
Joseph Hering, a robotics education coordinator. "Naturally, we'd like to have
them back as NASA engineers -- maybe astronauts."

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Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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