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Science & Tech

Student-built robots do battle at Agganis Arena

FIRST competition today and tomorrow will test agility on the court

A BU Academy student holds the goal for a robot his team created. Image from BU Productions

The annual battle of the robots now being fought at the Agganis Arena has been described as a rock-concert-that-meets- technology Super Bowl.

More than 1,000 high school students began arriving yesterday to prepare their robots for competition in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Regional Competition, being held today and tomorrow, March 24 and 25, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. FIRST is a program for middle and high school students that encourages them to pursue science and engineering.

BU Academy students make up one of the 44 teams competing for honors in robot design excellence, competitive play, and sportsmanship. Two alliances of three teams will compete in a game, similar to basketball, requiring each robot to perform specific tasks.

Click here to see a 90-second video of the BU Academy team demonstrating its entries, filmed on campus last month.

The regional competition will be webcast live by NASA and judged by industry experts, including Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, Bob Metcalfe of Polaris Ventures, and Helen Greiner, cofounder of iRobot.

The winning team will represent Boston at the FIRST Robotics Championship in Atlanta April 27 to 29, where 340 teams will compete for the top honor and for more than $7 million in scholarships from colleges, universities, and corporations.

FIRST, a nonprofit organization based in Manchester, N.H., was founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen.

 Video by BU Productions. Click here to download RealPlayer®.