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Innovation

FIRST consider open source

Imagine if MINDSTORM were specified as the heart of the next FIRST competition. Imagine thousands of high school students working with open source.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on
The annual US First robotics competition climaxed last week at the Georgia Dome, a few miles from where I write this.

My daughter's Grady High team made the 2005 nationals. This year over 1,000 teams took part, and Grady was knocked out in the regionals. She graduates at the end of the month. But no matter.

Planning has already begun for the 2007 competition. A game has to be designed. Rules need to be established. Requirements need to be set out. (Sponsors have to be recruited -- hint, hint.) FIRST has already spun off a competition for younger engineers, called the LEGO League.

Which brings up an interesting point. LEGO announced today that it is making the firmware for its MINDSTORM chip, the core of its own robotics technology, open source.

Imagine if MINDSTORM were specified as the heart of the next FIRST competition. Imagine thousands of high school students working with open source.

It's a match made in heaven, as far as I can tell. And besides, Robin has a younger brother.

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