Who is BEST Robotics Inc.?
BEST Robotics, Inc. (BRI) is the non-profit corporation created to oversee implementation of the BEST concept. BRI consists of members from each hub organization, who organize the local contests in various parts of the country.
What is Texas BEST?
Texas BEST is the regional contest held at the University of North Texas each year, following the local hub contests. Winners from the local contests get to compete at Texas BEST for the regional championship. There are three regional contest at this time: Texas BEST at UNT, South's BEST at Auburn University, and Frontier Trail's BEST at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
What is this contest?
The contest challenges students to design a robot that will perform in a sports-like event. It simulates the engineering process behind a real product development, allowing them to excercise their brainpower while still giving them the excitement of a competitive sporting event. The contest involves six weeks of design, development and manufacturing of a robotic machine from a odd mix of raw materials (provided by BEST at no expense to the school). All work is performed strictly by the students using basic tools, emphasizing "how" they do the work (the process) equally with "how" the machine ultimately performs. Technology coaches are recruited from the engineering and science community to mentor the students, exposing them to the real-world engineering issues and methods. Issues like time-to-market, constrained parts selection, and size/weight constraints; methods like brainstorming, design partitioning, project scheduling, rapid prototyping, and testing. The six week period concludes with head-to-head competition that that has all of the excitement of a high school basketball game. The machines and teams are judged for various attributes of the machine like most robust, creative design, most elegant, and most photogenic, as well as how well the machine fairs in head-to-head competition. The BEST award is considered the grand prize and is awarded to the team with the best overall increased awareness in engineering, science and technology. Teams that fair well in the SET BEST contest will advance to the Texas BEST regional contest.
What are the rules of the contest?
The official rules define both the general requirements of the robots (size, weight, materials, etc.) and the details of the game (i.e, function of the robot), including scoring. Since the game changes each year and is kept top-secret until kickoff to give everyone an equal chance, the rules document is not published until the Kickoff. The official rules for the game will be available on the BEST Robotics, Inc. website, along with a message board for submitting questions.
What geographical areas does SET BEST cover?
SET BEST was formed to cover the South East Texas region. There are several BEST hubs throughout Texas. If you have an interest in the BEST program, we'll help you identify which hub is right for your school location.
How can I get involved?
There are 4 ways for you to be involved in SET BEST: as a sponsor, as a mentor, as event staff, or in an advisory committee role.
How can I encourage my school to participate?
Talk to your principal. Talk to math/science/shop teachers and encourage them to be involved. Let them know that there are no entry fees or kit costs in order to participate. They are only required to provide a teacher sponsor and provide transportation to/from the events. Contact us directly with additional questions.