The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Worldwide Competition open to students in grades 9-12, kicks off on January 7 with a NASA-televised event, including pre-recorded opening remarks from Presidents Clinton and G.W. Bush, Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and inventor of the Segway, and Alex Kipman, General Manager, Hardware Incubation, Xbox.
Approximately 2,500 teams worldwide were given a kit of 600-700 discrete parts including a Kinect sensor and the Kinect for Windows software development kit (SDK), along with the details and rules for this year's game, Rebound Rumble.
"To help teams understand how to incorporate Kinect technologies into the design of their robot controls for the 2012 competition, workshops are being held around the country. Students will be using C# or C++ to program the drive stations of their robots to recognize and respond to gestures and poses. In addition, Microsoft Stores across the country are teaming up with FIRST robotics teams to provide Kinect tools, technical support, and assistance," Microsoft revealed.
"While winning teams get bragging rights, all participants gain real-world experience by working with professional engineers to build their team's robot, using sophisticated hardware and software, such as the Kinect for Windows SDK. Team members also gain design, programming, project management, and strategic thinking experience. Last but not least, over $15 million of college scholarships will be awarded throughout the competition," Microsoft said.
Learn how Kinect for Windows will play a role in this year's game by watching a complete walkthrough of the game animation presented by Dave Lavery and Havabanana Productions.