Friday, February 26, 2010

Meet Your New Autonomous Soccer-Playing Robot Overlords

Robots are awesome. Just ask my son, Nate, he'll tell you all about them.

Believe it or not, we're already taping segments for the 2010-11 season of Classroom Close-up, NJ. Which is why I was at North Brunswick Township High School on Monday afternoon getting interviews and B-roll for a package that won't air until September.

And since my attempt to Ustream behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot was pretty much a wash, that means you're going to have to wait until fall to see these:

robot army

and this:

2010-02-22 14.39.27

The story is about the incredible success, tradition, and legacy of Raider Robotix, the school's robotics team, that has been expanding interest in science and kicking butt in national robotics competitions for the last decade. They're like the New York Yankees of competitive high school robotics. Robotics is so popular at NBTHS that they had to put together a JV robotics team to accommodate the number of interested students. The JV team makes smaller robots like these:

2010-02-22 13.20.45 2010-02-22 13.43.15

While it might sound like your run-of-the-mill "schools focusing on science and technology" package, there's more to it than the obvious angle. A common thread among all the interviews was that the students' love and appreciation for the team has a lot more to do with one another than it has to do with robots. It's really a story about a group of students, teachers, coaches, alumni, and parents who are more like a family than a team.

So it's going to be a story about awesome people... and awesome robots.

(I did mention the awesome robots didn't I?)