USA: The Panasonic Creative Design Challenge Preliminary Robotics Competition
February 17, 2011
On January 19, 2011, student teams representing 35 New Jersey high schools took part in the preliminary round of competition in the 2011 Panasonic Creative Design Challenge (CDC) at PNA headquarters in Secaucus, NJ.
Introduced in 1991, the CDC is a premier science technology robotics competition in which New Jersey high school students compete for Panasonic prizes and scholarship awards. Panasonic's long-term partner in this program is the prestigious New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Three NJIT student interns develop the Challenge, and NJIT staff score written reports and provide judges for the performance and oral presentations segments of the competition. NJIT and Panasonic employee volunteers assist with all phases of the Challenge.
In past years the theme of the CDC student challenges has focused on the environment and this year is no different. The theme of this year's challenge -- "Wildfire Response & Rescue" -- requires student teams to design and construct a device that has the ability to maneuver through an obstacle course and complete several tasks that are associated with a safe and efficient wildfire response and rescue mission.
The tasks each device must complete include: crossing a river (device must be able to go through water); extinguishing a fire (retrieve “water” blocks from water stations and get them to the fire location); activating a fire alarm (pull down lever); rescuing survivors (pick up and drop off Lego people to a safe zone); delivering first aid packages (retrieve from supply stations and deliver them to another location on the platform).
For the preliminary round, teams were only required to complete 3 of the 5 tasks. Teams that successfully completed these tasks in the shortest amount of time then qualified for the CDC Finals which will be held for the first time at New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey on April 12, 2011. A total of 26 teams will move onto for the final competition.