This weekend was the FIRST robotics competition at the Javits Center here in NYC, an event where groups of students compete to see who built the best robot in the six-week competition window. How it works:

The core of the high school–level FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is the design and building of a robotic competitor. Each year in early January, FIRST unveils the competition or "game" at an annual kick-off event that is beamed by NASA satellite to auditoriums all over the world. This is the first glimpse students get of the game they will have to design their robot to play.

Working in teams, students have just six weeks to create their robot. They get the opportunity to work with programmable radio controls, pneumatics, motors, electrical circuits, mechanics, machining, web design, computer animation, computer assisted design, and other technologies—just like professional engineers and technologists do.

Our intrepid videographer Richard Blakeley braved the far west side to get the scoop. Above, check out a video of the heat of battle, with another video after the jump with more details on exactly how the competition works. These kids are totally awesome, and you can't help but feel excited about the future when you've got geniuses like this lined up to run the world.

FIRST Robotics Competition [NYC/NJ First]