Breakaway: High-Schooler-Designed Robots Play Gauntlet SoccerS

This picture shows entrants in this year's FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Breakaway match. Teams of ambitious high school kids build robots to compete in what's basically the American Gladiator version of soccer. It's pretty amazing.

The kids get six weeks to build a robot that can compete in this crazy game (weird 80s-style explanation of the game here): Their robots have to either traverse bumps or duck through tunnels, guard their nets, kick soccer balls into their opposing robots (two teams of three robots each) nets, and then for bonus points, climb and hang onto a tower in the closing minutes of a match. It's insanely challenging, and these kids actually do it. The NYC regional event ended today. [FIRST via DVICE]