FIRST is teaching our Dunlap, IL HS team valuable hands-on engineering and communication skills by building a robot in six weeks!
Help us build a fully-functional, competition-worthy, frisbee-throwing, pyramid-climbing robot for the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition! **Please check out the updates to see our unofficial new goal!
The Dunlap Eagles Robotics Team (DERT) 2040 will be competing at the Boilermaker Regional at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana from March 14-16. Your support will help fund an awesome robot and more importantly, the development of future engineers!
As a quick note, we had some unexpected delays in starting up the account so this Kickstarter will go until after the Regional competition -- we'll still have bills to pay and hopefully a World Championship to plan for!
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) isn't just about creating a robot though. Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST and inventor of, among many other technological advances, the Segway, wanted to get kids as excited about math and science as they are about sports. Sometimes called the "Varsity Sport for the Mind," FIRST reaches students of all ages, from elementary to high school. This is a sport where "everyone can go pro!" So what do FIRST students really learn?
- Shop skills, such as drilling with hand drill and drill press, using band, table, & chop saws, and handling metal & wood
- Mechanical engineering skills, such as fabricating parts (our specialty is using and laying-up carbon fiber composites!) and working with motors, gears, servos, & pneumatics
- Electrical engineering skills, such as experience with programming in C++, wiring, working with circuit boards, and troubleshooting coding errors
- 3D solid modeling skills, such as using Autodesk Inventor and practicing top-down modeling,used to create an intelligent CAD representation of the robot
- Public relation skills, such as public speaking, marketing, branding, and team promotion
- Web design skills, such as coding and graphic design
- Animating skills, such as using 3DS Max Design
- Problem-solving, designing, and prototyping skills
- Teamwork, communication, and collaboration skills
Got all that? In other words, FIRST Robotics students are getting hands-on experience that will give us a "kickstart" for college and beyond! We can't express how much your support will not only help our team in the present but also our students in the future.
Enough context, time to tell you about this year's project! The 2013 FRC game, Ultimate Ascent, involves shooting frisbees and climbing steel pyramids on a 27' by 54' field. We have six weeks to build a robot that will be able to compete in this challenge as well as work in an alliance with two others teams and their robots.
So where will your money go? Your donation will go towards various parts, materials, and tools for building the robot. There is also a $5,000 registration fee for the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Last but not least, we'd like to thank all of our parents, dedicated mentors, and sponsors because without their help, we wouldn't be able to build a robot every year! We hope to add you to this list -- every little bit counts!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
DERT 2040 has faced many setbacks, including losing our primary sponsor two seasons ago and quite unexpectedly this past fall, our founding coach of seven years. We've had to rely on our strong work ethic, enduring relationships, and team spirit more than ever, and we have emerged a stronger, better team on the other side of everything.
There are many challenges and risks associated with such huge project, especially for high school students. Other than the obvious safety risks in the shop working with machinery, there are many work-world risks that give us as high school students great experience. These include how much we want our team to get done in the time frame that we have, which is a challenge in itself considering we only have six weeks to build the robot! Consensus within the group over design is also a challenge, the risk being that designs may fail. Last but not least, this year's game in particular has an added element of risk that past games have not -- robots have the opportunity to climb to either 30, 60, or 90 inches, and those robots may not survive an accidental fall!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.