Excitement reigned at this weekend's 4th Annual FIRST Robotics Competition. This year 32 teams competed in a challenge involved arranging large plastic tubes on a rack. As you can see in the video, there was a short autonomous exercise, the logo sequence and a micro robot challenge in each of the heats. These heats go by fast and only last a couple of minutes. Teams compete in a best of series culminating on the Saturday's final. This year the alliance of teams that won the overall competition was McKinley, Kealakehe and Waialua High School. The competitions are not only a show of science and engineering. The event is peppered with performances, cheer leading, dancing and overall team spirit. There was even a first ever (at least as seen by me) performance of a live iPad2 GarageBand. There were 4 guys all plugged in playing music off their iPad2s. The three day event is quite a production and getting a chance to witness the student and audience energy is well worth the visit to Stan Sheriff Center on the UH campus. This year's event was also streamed from the NASA Robotics site. You can also read more about the various robotics competitions coming up during the rest of the year in this robotics Special Feature. Here is a set of photos I shot on during the Friday, March 24th qualifying heats. Hope to see you at the next robotics competition.