Thursday, November 7, 2013

VorTECHs Visit Parallax World Head Quarters

Propeller Activity Bot vs. FRC Ultimate Accent Bot
Parallax hosted a robotics team for an open house and demo of COOL STUFF! 

Established in 2011, the VORTECHS, team 3257 is comprised of 3 local (Rocklin/Roseville/Lincoln, CA) high schools. 

Tonight was all about getting students and parents to start thinking about the exciting build season starting the first week of 2014. It's the "off season" for FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). Generally teams are engaged in skill building and getting excited about planning for the upcoming intense 6 week build period. 

Learning solutions such as the Parallax Activity Bot using C programming language is an excellent tool for teaching concepts that will later apply to the official FRC competition robot. Teams must be ready to build/program/solve challenges before the season starts - there isn't enough time to build these skills while designing and building a complex robot on a 6 week schedule! 

Ken Gracey kicked off the evening by showing off the activity bot and talking about how exposure to technology and programs like FIRST will shape their future and change their lives in unexpected, exciting ways. He had a few pictures from recent international Parallax trips with other of the latest Parallax products. The students and parents took a tour of the Parallax facility, even watching a CNC mill grind a way on a part. (I jump at any opportunity for taking the tour, I always see something new to me.) Finally a newly built ELEV-Super was on hand as well for a night time flight demo, always a crowd pleaser! Parallax has a great facility to show off and always knows how to present people the stuff that hooks them on technology for life! Plus its always exciting to hear about new products in the pipeline...

As always Ken and Parallax associates, thank-you for being open and sharing the exciting work you all do!! 

Throughout the rest of the evening a presentation was given by the team student president who shared facts, pictures and a prior year video about the team. Several other impromptu student presentations were given and finally wrapped up with some of the business aspects by the Mr. Toy, the team teacher. 

FIRST teams like this one are successful because of the countless hours put in by Students, Teachers, Mentors, Parents and community participants like Parallax.

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