On March 12 - 13, I went to my first FIRST FRC tournament in 2016 at Southeast Raleigh High School. The 2016 FRC theme is Stronghold (Click Here for Game Rules). The rules and equipment contain interesting plots about castles, attack, and defense. The game simulates some research I saw at the robotics conferences last year, such as crossing uneven terrain, detecting the ball, picking up the ball, human-computer interaction, teleoperation. Each match consists of 15 seconds of autonomous mode, and then 2 minutes of remote control mode. On this trip, I focused on how human team players interacted with their robots and with other team members when they were competing in the field.
It was my first time volunteering as a Pit Admin Support for FRC the on the 12th and then Queuing Assistant on the 13th. When I visited FRC in the past two years, I only contacted each team to collect data for my research and observe the robots in the pit and field. After I had learned about the volunteer opportunity, I decided to do something as a return for the students and mentors' helping me with my research in the past two years. I ended up with much more fun by serving the kids, working with other volunteers, and learning about the event organization in the areas that a general audience would not go. The kids' intelligence and enthusiasm demonstrated on robotics were very impressive to me. The humility and commitment of the volunteer leaders were respectful.
Lixiao Huang, a human factors scientist who is enthusiastic about human-robot interaction research.