Two teams from Eindhoven will compete in the FIRST world championships in St Louis from 26 to 29 April. The team, Frencken’s Future, participating in the FIRST Lego League, is made up of children of employees from mechatronics company Frencken. Team Rembrandts will participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The team was founded by Fontys students of Mechatronics, but also consists of students who are interested in technology. These two teams form the Dutch delegation traveling to St Louis.
What is FIRST?
The FIRST competitions are divided into four different categories and four different age groups. For the youngest, there is the Lego League Jr, where children from six to nine can participate. For children from nine to fourteen, there is the Lego League, where the Eindhoven team Frencken’s Future is participating. For teens from twelve to eighteen years old, there is the FIRST Tech Challenge. The highest class is the FIRST Robotics Competition. This is intended for youth from fourteen years to second-year university students. This is the class that Team Rembrandts will participate in. The aim of each class is to build a robot that can perform a number of tasks as well as possible. Each class has its own requirements regarding the materials that the teams may use to build their robots.
“We, as Team Rembrandts, try to make as many young people as possible enthusiastic about technology.”Jelle Wout,
The goal of the FIRST competitions is to inspire and enthuse children and youth about technology. Jelle Wout, mentor of Team Rembrandt says, “As a team, we are not only concerned with the matches and the building of our robot, we are also active as promoters of the FIRST competitions and try to make as many young people as possible enthusiastic about making technology. Besides that, we, as volunteers, are also active in the FIRST Lego tournaments.
Team Rembrandts qualified for this World Cup with their win in the in the regional contest which was held in Orlando. During an earlier competition, the team got as far as the semi-finals, but went home with a design award. The children of Frencken’s Future also qualified by winning the regional matches. They played these games closer to home in the FIRST Lego League, held in Benelux.
For Team Rembrandts, the World Cup is a true showdown. There are four hundred teams participating, with the best in the world among them. “We have built a good robot, but we have also tough competition. We will do our very best, and I’m curious where we will end up.”
The teams will leave for St Louis in about two and a half weeks. We will be reporting on this trip in collaboration with the city marketing organization Eindhoven365. This week there will be another interview online about Team Rembrandts and next week you can read about Frencken’s Future here. After the overseas adventure, there will be a short documentary and a look back at the matches.