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The 2008 challenge, “FIRST Overdrive,” is a unique and exciting combination of NASCAR and soccer. Played on a 26 by 64 ft. playing field, two alliances, red and blue, each consisting of 3 robots, race around the track in a counter-clockwise direction while pushing a 40 in. diameter “TrackBall.” Extra points can be scored for “hurdling” a TrackBall over a six and a half foot structure that the TrackBalls start on, or by throwing the TrackBall across the finish line during the human operated period. This year, a new section of the game called the hybrid mode, was added. Instead of using fully pre-programmed robots as in previous years’ autonomous mode, a human player, known as the Robocoach, uses a remote to give up to 4 commands to the robot during the first 15 seconds. During that time, the robots will try and knock off TrackBalls from the six and a half foot structure or race around the track for extra bonus points. The end result is a
point-based challenge that brings enthusiastic youth across the nation together in an unprecedented combination of technology and sporting excitement!
Used with permission of FIRST, NASA, Havabanana Productions. (c) 2008.