Young robot designers innovate with Altium’s support

7th April 2008
ES Admin
Altium Limited has donated licenses of its Altium Designer integrated electronics design software to FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) for use in its annual robotics design competition.
All 1,500 teams of high school students participating in the 2008 FIRST Robotics Competition received access to Altium Designer unified electronics design tool, the first professional electronics design software ever provided to the competition. More than ten percent of the teams registered for a copy of the Altium Designer. At the FIRST Championship to be held April 17-19 in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, robots created by the various teams from a standard kit of parts will compete in a series of matches to determine which is the world’s best.

Gerry Gaffney, Senior Vice President & General Manager Americas, Altium , said, “It’s great to be able to offer these young designers - tomorrow’s electronics and industrial designers - an insight into the future of electronics design. That they are using exactly the same tool as professional engineers designing systems for space, the ocean, our highways and our factories, is very exciting for Altium. Altium believes that product innovation is the future of electronics design – and this marries perfectly with FIRST’s own vision.

With its generous contribution of electronics design software to FIRST Robotics Competition teams, Altium makes it possible for us to turn the FIRST vision of inspiring young people's interest and participation in science and technology into a reality, said FIRST president, Paul R. Gudonis. We thank Altium for its commitment to young engineers, and consider the company a valued new member of the FIRST community.”

Altium Designer is the only electronics design tool that combines hardware, software and embedded design within a single design application. Altium Designer offers the FIRST teams everything they need to design their custom electronics and sensors from concept to assembly. With Altium Designer now included in the competition kit of parts, teams can develop custom circuits and modules for the robots they are creating using the same professional design tool used by organizations such as NASA, Cochlear and Cessna.

This year’s contest has added a new element which sees each team developing hybrid controls that allow team members to give physical cues to their robots during the competition. By using Altium Designer, students can add custom sensors that provide circuit feedback to their robots during the so-called autonomous section of the contest, when the robots will operate independently of their human masters.

Altium sponsors over 900 universities, research projects and student competitions in the United States and around the world, including the University of Toronto and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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