South Florida Students Make Their Robots Compete

Mar 2, 2015
Lisann Ramos

This past weekend 51 student teams from high schools across Florida and the country competed in the South Florida FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center.

To the left of the convention center are tents lined up and full of students trying to get their robots ready for competition, each robot wearing its team shirt as well as some capes, masks and wigs. All in the name of team spirit.

Lisann Ramos

Florida has been putting an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math education. And with STEM, comes tests -- and competitions.

The South Florida Regional FIRST Robotics Competition is happening through Saturday at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center. FIRST is an acronym -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology. 

Real-Life RoboCop Makes Debut At FIU

Feb 13, 2014
Lisann Ramos

The Discovery Lab at Florida International University in Miami demonstrated a prototype for its own version of RoboCop on Wednesday morning. The robot is designed to allow disabled police and military personnel to serve as patrol officers.

They call the model TeleBot because it combines telepresence and robotics. This particular TeleBot’s name is Hutch.

Construction on Hutch began in 2012 when Dr. Jong-Hoon Kim, the director of Discovery Lab at FIU, received a donation from Lieutenant Jeremy Robins of the U.S. Navy.

Maria Murriel / WLRN

The Pentagon hosted a robotics competition at the Homestead Miami Speedway over the weekend. It’s being called the "Robot Olympics."

Teams from all over the world came to prove their robots’ agility at the Robotics Challenge trials. The teams whose robots earn the top scores would get a shot at winning $2 million in the finals next year.

But the games are about much more than the cash:


The qualifying trials for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Robotics Challenge start Friday. The robot races are sponsored by the Pentagon’s research unit.

Teams of engineers from all over the world are vying for a chance to compete for a $2 million prize. But sponsors hope much more will come of the event.

Here’s the challenge: Create a robot that can walk on rocky terrain, open doors, remove debris, close a valve. Basically, do all the things a first responder would do.