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Pnina Harpaz

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Making Sense of the First Robotics Competition’s roboRIO

It’s that time of year again – the First Robotics Competition has begun. This exciting competition pits teams of 25 or more high school students against each other in a bid to build robotics to the highest standard. The competition is as close to real world engineering as high school students can get, and students qualify for over $25 million in college scholarships. It features over 73,000 students in nearly 3,000 teams from all across the globe.

The First Robotics Competition challenges students to prove they have what it takes across a range of disciplines, and accurately mirrors real world engineering practices and challenges. The competition element makes robotics and engineering fun and exciting, and motivates students to work together to overcome some of the tough real world trials that engineers face, all with the support of professional engineers.

This year, the mandatory controller is the National Instruments roboRIO. It’s an all-new controller that’s lighter, more powerful and more versatile than anything the First Robotics Competition has seen before. Supporting the LabView operating system, it uses the Xilinx Zynq chipset and is designed to be extra-rugged so that it can withstand multiple First Robotics Competition seasons.

Programming the roboRIO is an excellent way to begin using LabView, the industry standard system design and development environment used extensively for instrument control, data acquisition and industrial automation in engineering. The gamut of projects used by engineers on a daily basis with LabView run from rapid prototyping up to large-scale projects such as Space-X mission control and the CERN Large Hadron Collider.

For those new to the roboRIO or LabView, we’ve put together a handy tutorial to the controller which we’re giving away free to all those interested in the First Robotics Competition. This short course provides an introduction to the roboRIO and programming it with LabView.

You can access this FREE introductory course right here:

New College and Career Academy Opens in Henry County Featuring Intelitek’s Advanced Manufacturing Equipment

New College and Career Academy Opens in Henry County Featuring Intelitek’s Advanced Manufacturing Equipment

Dignitaries and media were out in force this week for the opening of Henry County’s brand new College and Career Academy, a new 56,000 square ft. state-of-the-art facility offering 10 new programs. Students are given the opportunity to take everything they learn in the classroom and put it into practice in a technology-rich environment, allowing them to understand what they are learning and why they are learning it.

The Academy offers everything from high tech manufacturing – which features Intelitek’s industry-leading advanced manufacturing learning equipment – to healthcare, a full-size industrial kitchen, graphic design, and automotive shop. With all these cool gadgets, students get motivated to learn as they know what they are learning is relevant to the modern world and their future. Freshmen starting in the program are taking the opportunity to get a high school diploma and a 2-year college degree at the same time.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who was there in person for the grand opening, said that this type of facility “offered students the kind of job they want”, and with results such as 98% graduation rates and 100% placement rates, they were planning to roll the programs out to as many students as possible. He also noted that facilities like the College and Career Academy is a powerful way to get industry to come into the area, with a motivated and highly skilled workforce ready to fill positions.

Featured on local Atlanta news, the new College and Career Academy is a boon for students, parents, teachers and local industry. Students get the marketable skills they need to take them into great jobs in the area, and we’re proud that Intelitek has been able to help facilitate the building of this great academy.

See the video here


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