March 6th, 2009 5:33 pm | by KELLY CLARKE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Schools, CLEAN UP

ROBOTS! And the kids who love them.

Tags: babies

An alert for cash-strapped robot lovers. The Memorial Coliseum is hosting the 2009 FIRST Oregon Regional Robotics Competition today and tomorrow. What the hell is that? FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a competition where a bunch of teams of grade school, junior and senior high school kids build robots from a kit in less than two months and then force them to complete random tasks in epic metal head-to-metal head battle.

So, yeah, kind of like Battlebots and kind of like High Five. Which, really, sounds kind of amazing. Plus, it seems there are mascots and costumes involved. And it's free to go and gawk at the whole spectacle.


According to our FIRST contact Whitney Tenold, more than 50 teams from Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho competed last year. Portland's own Catlin Gabel crew schooled 'em all and won the 2008 PDX regional in 2008. No word on whether they'll be back today to defend their robotic honor.

The video below is actually from FIRST's 2008 championship, which was held in Atlanta last April. I suggest you watch it. If only for the heavy-hitting competition beats and horse-head mascots.

FIRST Oregon Regional Robotic Championships take place at Memorial Coliseum, 1401 Wheeler Ave. 9 am-4:30 pm Friday, March 6 and 9 am-3 pm Saturday, March 7. Free. Visit for more info.

Images from the 2008 Oregon regional competition courtesy of PNW FIRST.
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