Jan 10, 2011

Autodesk Helps Inspire Tomorrow’s Engineers Through FIRST Robotics Competition

Company Provides 3D Design and Engineering Software and Resources to Students.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif - For the 19th consecutive year, Autodesk, Inc is a sponsor of the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) program by contributing its software, mentoring resources and, for the first time, funding grants to U.S. teams. The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges high-school students to collaborate and build a working robot in just six weeks. The annual competition promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills while inspiring students to be leaders in tomorrow’s engineering workforce.

“Students around the world are hungry for opportunities to apply the math and science principles they’ve learned to projects outside the classroom,” said Joe Astroth, Ph.D., Autodesk chief education officer. “As a longtime supporter of FRC, Autodesk is committed to helping students develop real-world skills they need to prepare themselves to solve tomorrow’s design and engineering challenges.”

More than 2,200 teams consisting of 45,000 high-school students from around the world will participate in the 2011 FRC competition. As part of the event’s Kit of Parts, each team will receive Autodesk Inventor 2011 software to design, visualize and simulate their robots in 3D before construction, saving valuable time and resources while exploring design alternatives. Using Autodesk Inventor also exposes students to the same tools and concepts used by the world’s leading engineers. As members of the Autodesk Education Community, each student also receives free access to the company’s 3D design, engineering and entertainment software and accompanying resources, including access to a virtual kit of robot parts modeled in Autodesk Inventor.

For the first time, Autodesk will sponsor 20 teams from the United States, with grants of $5,000 each, to be used for the competition registration fee. Autodesk will also honor two teams with the Autodesk Excellence in Design award at this year’s championship event in St. Louis, Mo., to be held April 27-30, 2011. The award’s 3D Design category recognizes outstanding achievement in design of the FIRST team robot using Autodesk Inventor, AutoCAD or Autodesk SketchBook Pro software. The award’s 3D Animation category honors the FIRST team that creates the best 30-second 3D animation using Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya or Autodesk Softimage software – the award-winning tools used by many digital artists in the media and entertainment industry. The animation must fit the “Change Their World” theme, while demonstrating understanding of the design process, storytelling, technical execution, creativity and aesthetics, as well as clear, concise, and compelling communication.