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FIRST Robotics 2016


Ultrasonic RangeFinder for Snow Level MeasurementOur planet’s future depends on today’s kids becoming the innovators, doers, and tinkerers of tomorrow. That’s why FIRST Robotics exists — to influence young people all over the world to embrace science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as educational and professional career paths.

More than 400,000 kids around the world do research and build competitive robots, FIRST Robotics Competition is cleverly designed to get them inspired, started early and keep them involved all the way through high school and beyond. You'll witness their unbridled enthusiasm for each other, and for what they can do, in every corner of this event.

On April 27-30, 2016 more than 3,000 teams comprised of over 78,000 high school students from around the world traveled to St. Louis for the world's largest robotics competition, putting their engineering skills to the test at the annual FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship. In just six weeks, teams built, programmed and tested robots with the guidance of adult mentors. Teams competed with their robots as family and friends cheer from the stands at over 120 multi-day events worldwide – all leading up to the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome. All FIRST events are free and open to the public.

The FIRST Robotics Competition offers an experience as close to real-world business development and engineering management as a student can get. It’s much more than robots., the program instills 21st century life skills such as problem solving, time management, conflict resolution, and communication that today’s young people need when entering the workforce. The FIRST Robotics Competition allows kids to acquire 21st century skills that employers demand, like teamwork, critical thinking, creative problem solving, and hands-on experience. In the process, they learn a lot about themselves, building self-confidence and a sense of shared community that will propel them through life. You don’t have to be competing to join in the hands-on exhibits and technology demonstrations at the FIRST Robotics Competition. In fact, there’s endless fun for all ages everywhere!

Highlights from the 2016 FIRST Championship!

Wherever you choose to wander, you’ll continuously hear the phrase “Gracious Professionalism®.” It’s the ethos everyone involved in FIRST lives by — interacting positively, sharing ideas, helping competitors, and being polite to all. It’s infectious and unforgettable. The North American robotics market has set new records after the event in 2016, according to Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group.

A total of 14,583 robots valued at approximately $817 million were ordered from North American companies during the first half of 2016. The number of units ordered in the first six months marks a new record to begin the year, growing two percent over the same period in 2015, which held the previous record. Order revenue decreased slightly by three percent in the first half of 2016. In the same timeframe, 13,620 robots valued at $838 million were shipped to North American customers. These figures represent the second highest total for units shipped and a new record for shipment revenue in the first half of a year.

The number of robots ordered by Automotive OEMs and Component Suppliers increased 16% and four percent respectively to begin the year, and was the largest driver of the market’s record performance. Similarly, the Food & Consumer Goods industry soared in the first half of the year, ordering 41% more robots than the same period on 2015. Total orders to all other non-automotive industries decreased 14%.

In terms of applications, the biggest increases were realized in Inspection (69%), Assembly (38%), and Spot Welding (21%). RIA estimates that some 265,000 robots are now at use in North American factories, which is third to only Japan and China. “The robotics industry is thriving today as more companies of all sizes are realizing the benefits of automation,” said Jeff Burnstein, President of RIA. “The increasing functionality, flexibility, and safety of robots today is an example of how this dynamic market is reshaping the global manufacturing landscape.”

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