On September 9 & 10   September 16 & 17 University Mall,  Mall visitors can take a break from their shopping to watch a team of college students take on a three day livestreamed marathon robot build as part of the international FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC)  youth robotics kick off.

Robot in 1 Weekend (Ri1W) is part of the Robot in 3 Days (Ri3D) challenge,  a FIRST Alumni competition created by the founders of the Orlando based iR3 Creative Engineering, who are also FIRST Alumni.   Thanks to a partnership between !pUniversity Mall and the Foundation for Community Driven Innovation (FCDI), R1W will be hosted and livestreamed from University Mall  as a dozen FTC alumni, many now students at the University of South Florida, take on this year’s Relic Recovery build the weekend of September 9, when the game is revealed to FTC teams worldwide.

One part entertainment and one part education, the  challenge features multiple teams across Florida racing to finish robot builds in 36 hours to help teams nationwide get a jump on their own builds, and learn best engineering design and construction practices.   Mall guests will be able to stop by and see the team in action, and learn more about FIRST youth robotics.

Special thanks to ROBOT League of Tampa for use of the new season game field and to VJK Pizza for donating lunch on Saturday and Sunday!

Tampa area FIRST Tech Challenge alumni are invited to join in. There’s room for about six more FIRST Tech Challenge alumni team members.  Please sign up by Monday Sept 4 for consideration:

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Alumni and event partners are also helping host the annual ROBOTICON Tampa Bay FIRST Showcase October 7 & 8 at the USF Sun Dome, which is free and open to the public. At ROBOTICON, guests will be able to see the Tampa Ri1W build, along with the robots built by other Ri1W teams in Florida.  At ROBOTICON, guests can also see a FIRST LEGO League Jr. Expo, FIRST LEGO League scrimmages and FIRST Robotics Competition game play, enjoy an Innovation Fair and see FIRST Sport for the Mind in action.