May 6, 2008 Close to one hundred teams from around the world invaded the Matadome at California State University, Northridge with their robots last weekend for the inaugural VEX Robotics World Championship. An alliance of three teams from China won the fast-paced competition with robots built by the students using the VEX Robotics Design System. The winning alliance teams, Chengdu Shuangliu Experimental Middle School, Chengdu No.7 High School and Nanshan High School Mianyang, were triumphant on the game “Bridge Battle”, which was created by Innovation First, the organization behind the Vex Robotics World Championship.
Bridge Battle is played on a 12’x12’ square field that is divided into two sections – one “red” and one “blue” – with two teams on each side. Each team controls its robots to place tennis balls in respective red and blue colored sections of a bridge platform and works closely together to accomplish this task. Students compete in matches lasting approximately two minutes, with a new one occurring every three minutes. The tournament was designed as a vehicle for students to interact and learn about robotics engineering in a fun, non-traditional environment with the event hosting high school and middle school students from Brazil, Canada, China, Great Britain, Korea, Singapore, Taipei and the United States for two days of non-stop robotic action.
The captain from the winning team from Nanshan High School Mianyang said, “It was really awesome for us to have the opportunity to compete against the best teams in the world. We definitely needed to share our engineering knowledge and work together as a team to pull in this win.” Jason Morrella, senior director of education and competition for Innovation First said, “It was also amazing to witness the creativity that went into the design of their robots and the enthusiasm on their faces during each match”. “Having this world-wide competition has helped further our commitment towards motivating kids to be passionate about science and technology,” Morrella continued.