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NI, FIRST further student interests via robotics platform

03 May 2013

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Sharing a goal to create more engineers and scientists, FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), and National Instruments (NI) are extending their partnership until 2019. FIRST is an organisation that urges young people to take interest in science and technology by participating in mentor-based robotics programs.

This phase of the technology partnership centres around the creation of a next-generation embedded robotics control platform code-named "Athena." Athena is a super-rugged, reconfigurable controller that, when paired with NI LabVIEW system design software, makes it possible for FIRST teams to design real systems faster than ever. Students will use Athena starting in the 2015 season of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

Starting with Junior FIRSTLEGO League (Jr.FLL), which is the entry-level program in a Progression of Programs at FIRST for youths ages 6 to 18, students use tools powered by LabVIEW to intuitively learn embedded control and robotics programming concepts. As students advance through these four robotics programs, access to tools that scale with each skill level is essential to their success. Athena, which is programmable with LabVIEW, gives high school students experience with the same tools they will use throughout college and in their science and engineering careers.

Through a donation from NI,FIRST will provide these next-generation robotics systems to participating teams starting in 2015. This donation provides hardware for all existing and "rookie" FRC teams over a five-year period. NI also currently provides LabVIEW software to all FRC teams. Students in FIRST will use the same hardware and software platform professional engineers currently use to create applications in virtually every industry, from testing smartphones to launching spaceships.

Visit www.usfirst.org for more information on all FIRST programs.

Visit http://poweredby.labview.com/ to learn about more innovative LabVIEW applications.




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