Robo’ Lyon, the 1st French robotics team to take part in the FIRST® Robotics Competition
FIRST® aims to inspire young people to become leaders and inventors in the field of science and technology. The organization was founded by Dean Kamen in 1989. It fosters the exchange of knowledge between high-school pupils and their mentors – professionals, teachers, university students – who donate their time and expertise to help complete the project.
For the young high-school pupils, the challenge not only involves the technical aspect but also managing a project. They have just a few months to form a team capable of working like a real company – human resources, project management, marketing, communication, sponsoring, etc. The team also requires high-level technical skills – mathematics, mechanics, robotics, programming, design – and strategic skills. Based on the success of its initial program, the FIRST® Robotics Competition, FIRST® has put other programs in place over the years: FIRST® Lego League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, etc., thus covering primary to secondary school age groups.
The FIRST® Robotics Competition is also about meeting new people, speaking English, and rising to a challenge….to become future leaders in science and technology. Dean Kamen, the founder of FIRST® and an American inventor and businessman, is best known for inventing the Segway PT. He created FIRST® in 1989 to help young people learn about science and technology.
1st French team, from Lyon
Robo’Lyon is the 1st French team to participate in the FIRST® Robotics Competition (RCF). The RCF is one of the most famous robotics competitions in the world.
Its sponsors include Boeing, NASA and Google. Robo’Lyon is an association (according to the French Law of 1901) that was created in 2014. The team is made up of young high-school pupils and volunteer mentors (teachers, alumni, engineering and business professionals, university students, etc.).
Entrepreneurship that starts in high school
One of the objectives is to give high-school pupils an insight into the requirements and skills needed in the professional world. The competition teaches the pupils about marketing, communication, engineering, programming, mechanics, robotics and other subjects, so they have a better understanding of how a real company operates. Teamwork is crucial to the success of the project: listening, respect for others, meeting your commitments, diplomacy, and the ability to defend a cause…The aim is to instill concepts that are valuable in daily life.
Experience is a key factor in helping people find their first job. Gaining experience of the business world in high school – by taking part in a prestigious competition – is a genuine asset for the future. This will enable the young pupils to have a better understanding of the world of entrepreneurship, with its constraints and its opportunities.
Supporting the next generation
The FIRST® Robotics Competition was created in 1992 and combines the emotion of sport with the rigors of the corporate world. Because of the strict rules, limited resources and tight deadlines, high-school pupils call it “the hardest fun you’ll ever have.”
The competition enables high-school pupils – supported by mentors – to develop their skills while working as a team. The aim of the competition is to build and program industrial-sized robots to play a challenging field game against opponents who have the same objectives. The volunteer mentors give their time and expertise to guide each team.