PTC’s Onshape Teams Up With FIRST For Design Competition

FIRST, a nonprofit that offers robotics competitions for students primary/secondary students, has partnered with PTC for a virtual design competition.

Although the cancelation of school sports and extracurricular activities is far from the biggest problem posed by COVID-19, many high school seniors still feel a sense of loss from missing these rite-of-passage events, according to FIRST organization. In mid-March, the FIRST organization canceled its two FIRST Robotics Championship competitions in Houston and Detroit, and suspended the 2020 season.

But this season isn’t over yet.

FIRST, the global nonprofit organization that offers a suite of robotics competitions for students in grades PreK-12, has partnered with PTC for a virtual design competition that challenges teams to design a robot that can solve a current world problem. Examples would include a robot that delivers emergency food and supplies to people living in remote areas, or a robot that cleans up pollution from the water and air.

Drexel University student Marcus Bernstein, who has been designing robots since 7th grade, first became interested in engineering in elementary school when he participated in the FIRST LEGO League. Image courtesy of FIRST/PTC.

Participants in the six-week “Robots to the Rescue” competition will use PTC’s Onshape product development platform that enables teams to remotely work together online on the same CAD model at the same time from any computer, tablet or phone. As a pure software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, there is no software installation required and no IT infrastructure to administer and maintain, allowing teams to get started quickly and to easily collaborate, innovate, and have fun. Used professionally worldwide by thousands of product developers, Onshape is free for students and educators.

“Robots to the Rescue” is aimed at both FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams. In the first 10 days of registration, 282 FIRST teams have signed up so far. There’s plenty of time to sign up and compete, as the final submission deadline is May 15.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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