On the isle next to our studio, robots (including FIRST teams) were battling their way to dominance, while outside another competition was taking place: Electrathon of Tampa Bay. As Fredi Beck explained, this competition, like FIRST, is designed to encourage kids and adults to learn the skills required for building electronics. Unlike FIRST, however, the competition is not game-based. Instead, this competition is based on the efficiency of the machine built.
The Electrathon is a battery-powered car "race," but not focused on the vehicle that makes it around the track the fastest. Instead, it is about the vehicle that runs the longest on the track. This requires a lot of consideration on the design of the machine. Light-weight is definitely better than heavy, and less pressure on the motors can also provide extended battery performance.
As our electronics become more powerful, making them power-efficient is becoming even more important. Large companies like Samsung are incapable of making their flagship smartphone last longer on a charge than some of their far smaller competitors. This competition might just help us fix that issue.
From laptops and Lumia to Surface and Xbox, get it at the Microsoft Store.