Dec 12, 2015 Great fun serving at the FIRST FLL tournament as a Robot Design Judge for the first time ever
I have been conducting research with FIRST FTC and FRC teams for two years, but I have never been a volunteer for any FIRST robotics tournaments. So I signed up a few volunteer positions, starting with the FLL robot design judge. The reason was that I would like to learn more about robot design so that I could use my doctoral training in Human Factors to see some potential opportunities to improve the robot design or robotics education. After getting the notice of assignment, I went through all the online training sessions for judges and got a judge certificate~woohoo~
Today was the day for the FLL qualifying tournament. The event took place at the Triangle Math and Science Academy from 7am to 5pm. It was my first time being a robotics tournament judge, first time being at this school, and first time reading an award in the front of the audience. I had great fun working with other judges, interacting with student teams, and experience a whole new tournament system through the judge's perspective. It was difficult for me to learn a lot of new information that are not related to my area and to work at a fast and intensive pace, but I am so glad that I did it. I would like to go again next time and hope that I can contribute something that my academic training equips me to do.
Lixiao Huang, a human factors scientist who is enthusiastic about human-robot interaction research.