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Comment Re:RC car or "real" robot or ? (Score 1) 64

It's probably in part due to Dean Kamen's influence - the man who made the segway and other mobility devices. The competition pushes more of the mechanical portion of robotics rather than the software. There are other competitions that focus on other areas, but I'm sure the fun of getting to drive around a robot attracts a lot of people (personally I prefer seeing a creation handle itself). The younger FIRST with legos does a bit more autonomous actions (though even there it was usually "drive forwards until mechanical action takes place, drive backwards")

Comment Re:RC car or "real" robot or ? (Score 1) 64

Continuing on the subject of autonomy - It's an area that basically requires miany more sensors/inputs (can bring up the costs quite a bit) and pushes a lot more time into the software, most of which can only be done after the robot is fully functional. If the challenge was the same every year (like playing soccer), then it would be reasonable to have fully autonomous or longer autonomous sessions, but as it is, the engineering/design of the robot is more interesting, so no one wants to see the super clever robot design flailing for 2 minutes around because a ball knocked a sensor out of place.

Comment Re:This is a rare breed of human. (Score 1) 758

People don't understand what "Genetically Modified" means. They picture spiderman-type mutations, not apple farmers mixing their trees.

You could say washing your apples before they get sold is "Chemically Processed Food", but people are going to go for the ones that don't have the sticker in the same way.

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