*Due to the cancellation of the 2020 season, Infinite Recharge will be replayed for the 2021 season.*
Welcome to the 2021 FIRST® Robotics Competition season: Infinite Recharge! A barrage of asteroids is on a collision course with FIRST City, and it's up to FRC teams to power the shield generator and protect from impending doom.
Each year, FRC teams are presented with a challenge in which they must design, build and program a robot to efficiently complete said challenge. In past years, teams were given a strict, six week period to build their robot, but starting this year, the deadline no longer applies. During "Build Season," as it is called, teams will put their minds to the test by designing and constructing a robot that not only efficiently completes the tasks at hand during a match, but also meets a very strict set of guidelines laid out in the season manual.
There are many rules that go into an FRC game like Infinite Recharge™, all of which employ FIRST's core values of 'gracious professionalism' and 'coopertition.' All of the rules in play ensure that it's a fair game for all and that there is little to no foul play out on the field. From the way robots score to how the teams set up before the match even begins, Infinite Recharge™, like all other FRC games, is quite complex. So if and when you are watching matches, you should acknowledge that what the students are tackling is quite amazing.
Due to the unfortunate nature of Covid-19, the 2021 season of the FIRST Robotics Competition must be played remotely, which means no in-person competitions for the foreseeable future. However, as a replacement, FIRST has come up with three new challenges which can be done from the safety of home, of course with proper mask-wearing and social distancing at play as well. These three new challenges are divided into the Game Design Challenge, the Innovation Challenge, and Infinite Recharge at Home.
Game Design Challenge
- In the Game Design Challenge, FRC teams are given the task of using their creative minds to put together their own game for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Students are given full creative control to make up a game about any topic they like, of course, while also following standard FRC rules of field size and robot dimensions. This will be submitted to FIRST in early March.
- In the Innovation Challenge, FRC teams are to identify a problem and come up with a STEM-related solution that would make the world a better place. This is very similar to what students would do in the FIRST Lego League in which they would have to find a solution to a problem in their local community.
Infinite Recharge at Home
- With Infinite Recharge at Home, the robots don't go away. To keep the hands-on aspect in the picture, FRC teams still get to use their robots from the year before. Rather than having in-person competitions, FRC teams are given certain challenges to complete and send into FIRST to compete with teams from around the world. These challenges can range from time trials to seeing how many Power Cells you can score from a certain distance.
Copyright © by Owen Begley. All rights reserved, used with permission.