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.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLuGHiTz Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the DDR community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bar Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and judging engineering notebooks at competitions. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.