Inside Rensselaer
FIRST Robotics Competition
FIRST Robotics Competition
Students and faculty from the School of Engineering traveled to Atlanta from April 17-19 to fly a pair of student-developed Smart Blimps at the FIRST Robotics Championship Competition in the Georgia Dome.

The event, attended by more than 340 teams of high school students from across the globe, is held by FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — a nonprofit founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kaman with the goal of motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math while building life skills. Rensselaer is a sponsor of FIRST, the Robotics Championship Competition, and the FIRST LEGO League.

Rensselaer’s Smart Blimps, first developed in 2003, feature next-generation embedded-control systems. Each blimp is 11 feet long, nearly 6 feet in diameter, powered by a SiLabs 8051 microcontroller, can lift about 6 pounds, and are emblazoned on one side with the Rensselaer logo and the other side with the logo of aerospace and defense firm BAE Systems, which sponsored the project.

The Smart Blimp program at Rensselaer is led by Paul Schoch, associate professor in the School of Engineering.

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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 2, Number 8, May 2, 2008
©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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