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FIRST Robotics champion crowned, Dean Kamen elated

Darren Murph

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Tossing up autonomous robots into the galaxy to perform a variety of prototypical tests is intriguing to say the least, but a trio of high-school teams were able to bring robotic competition a bit closer to home as they took home the gold in the highly-anticipated FIRST Robotics corrivalry. Cooked up by Dean Kamen (you know, the Segway inventor) in 1989, the challenge garnered entrants from a whopping 23 countries this year, and teammates from Bobcat Robotics from South Windsor, Connecticut, Highrollers from Las Vegas, Nevada, and Gompei and the HERD from Worcester, Massachusetts were able to craft the most dexterous and successful machine. Their creation reportedly excelled at "completing simple -- albeit goofy -- tasks such as shooting balls or stacking inner tubes," but we can already imagine the evil potential these innocent bots already posses. Apparently, "thousands of screaming high-school participants" were in attendance to witness the unveiling of a new champion, and if the popularity of this contest is any indication, we could be seeing these uber-intelligent, entirely autonomous robot armies being constructed an awful lot sooner than previously expected hoped.

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