More Than Robots (2022) Movie Script

[people chattering]
[crowd cheering]
Confirmed it. Other side now.
[girl] All right. Be careful
that there's-- It's on the other side.
[cheering continues]
[boy 1] The batteries are secured to it.
[boy 2] Yeah.
-[boy 1] Huh? Right now?
-[boy 2] No, we--
[girl] Run the batteries. We've gotta go.
We have a minute, 50 seconds to go.
-Yeah, let's go. Let's go.
-[boy] I know.
TeraWatts! TeraWatts!
[whirring, crackling]
[boy 2] Let's do it!
[girl] All right. A minute, 30 seconds.
We gotta go.
All right. Let's go.
Let's go, let's go, let's go.
[male emceer] Alliance Captains, 3512.
[male announcer on PA] Spartatroniks.
[crowd chanting] Red Alliance!
Our second set of quarterfinals returns.
Our fourth seed alliance in red.
Our fifth seed alliance in blue.
Let's meet 'em. 1515!
[announcer] MorTorq.
[emcee] Alliance captains, 5553!
[announcer] Robo'Lyon.
[emcee] And, last but not least, 6904!
[announcer] The TeraWatts.
Go! Go, TeraWatts!
-Hey, is everything all good?
-Everything good. Good.
[emcee] Drivers, behind the lines!
[man] There we go. He's good.
He's good now. He's good. He's ready.
[emcee] Three. Two. One. Go!
[crowd roaring]
[birds chirping]
[boy] The way my brain works,
I can't think of things in words.
I think in feelings and numbers.
The feelings that numbers give me--
Well, the number two
I'm facing south and I'm looking at
the corner of a building.
The number three, it can be a tree.
It can be something purple.
The number four is something bright.
It's like a star in the night sky,
or red and green. [chuckles]
My brain makes way too many connections.
[woman] Jacob was always very curious
about how things worked.
Jacob was a very happy baby.
Always smiling. Always bouncing.
He's always been blond,
and his hair would grow out
in a perfect halo around his head.
He always had this perfect,
round head of hair.
He would sit and write numbers out.
Cover a sheet of paper. Start a new one.
Cover the page with numbers.
And he was always fascinated
with airplanes.
I had this idea of working for SpaceX.
I used to be
kind of interested in rockets.
I thought they were cool.
I-I still think they are,
but not as cool as math. [chuckles]
[playing classical music]
The structure and harmonies
of classical music,
they work because of some
mathematical concepts.
There's a certain pattern that we track,
and if it produces joy
or produces sadness,
it's based on math.
I messed up. [chuckles]
I-I can't handle it when I mess up.
At school, everyone is cool.
People skills were a bit of an issue.
I wouldn't say
they were a bit of an issue,
but they--
I didn't understand stuff at first.
I didn't understand popular culture.
I understand a little bit of it now,
but I'm not an expert,
but everyone else is an expert. [chuckles]
I'd never really, like,
been a part of a team before.
I needed to be an expert
at literally everything, which I can't be.
I was at the club fair,
and there was this huge table,
and there was a pile of metal.
I walked over,
and it wasn't a pile of metal.
It was a robot.
And they said it's a robotics team,
and I was hooked.
You tightened it too high up here.
[Jacob] I made a lot of friends
being part of a team,
which was new for me.
I work on coding
the control panel mechanism for the robot.
I get to connect with a lot of people.
And we get to chat all we want
about this one particular thing
that's been in my mind
for what seems like ages.
I think it's good because it fits me.
Hello, everybody, and welcome.
This is the 1996 US FIRST National Finals.
[female broadcaster] This is FIRST,
For Inspiration and Recognition
of Science and Technology.
A worldwide program that combines
the high-intensity world of sports
with STEM education, science,
technology, engineering and math.
[Debenham] Please welcome to the podium
FIRST founder, Dean Kamen.
Dean Kamen created the Segway scooter,
the insulin pump
and the portable dialysis machine,
just to name a few of his big innovations.
And Dean is not just inventing things.
He's created a platform for young,
passionate engineers
to follow in his footsteps.
[Kamen] How do you take
all the critical elements of science,
technology and engineering and innovation,
and put 'em in a format
that kids can appreciate?
I know! We'll make a robotics competition.
Each year, teams of high school students
dedicate weeks of their lives
to designing,
building and programming a robot.
We wanted FIRST to be a microcosm
of the real world of engineering.
Thought robots would be ideal
because it's easy to include every
different kind of engineering discipline
that kids might be interested in.
[man] Back in the '70s, we wanted to
make sure that MIT students
not only got good analytical thinking
but got in touch
with their creative skill.
So we gave 'em a kit of materials and said
build something to accomplish a task.
Wasn't too surprising that MIT students
would compete like crazy.
But it was really wonderful to note
that they worked together,
taught each other everything they know.
[Kamen] When we started this,
there were 20-some-odd teams.
The next year we went to 100.
The next year we went to 200.
Now we have thousands and thousands
of teams all around the world.
[crowd cheering, applauding]
Every year, our live kickoff happens
the first weekend after the New Year.
And on the day of kickoff,
we'd unveil the new challenge.
-Good morning.
-[all] Good morning!
I'm excited. I've been waiting
to find out this game for a while.
That's just all I've been thinking.
Excitement, mostly,
to start creating a new robot
and process more information.
[female interviewer]
-A bit.
[crowd] Five, four, three, two, one!
[cheering, applauding]
[man] Welcome to the 2020
FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff.
Now this season, The FIRST Rise,
powered by Star Wars: Force for Change,
inspires us to work together to strengthen
and protect the force that binds us all.
Our friends at Disney and Lucasfilm
are right behind you,
cheering on your success.
So right now, let's hear from them.
Hello, FIRST teams.
I'm Mark Hamill, and welcome
to the 2019-2020 season.
This year, FIRST is teaming up with
Disney and Lucasfilm
as part of the
Star Wars: Force for Change initiative.
[Kamen] Each year,
we create an engineering challenge
that's entirely different
from the year before,
and we work really hard to make sure
that there is no obvious best strategy
to win the game.
[Hamill] In Infinite Recharge,
forces threaten the future of FIRST City.
With assistance from your trusty droids,
you and your crew will race
to overcome obstacles
and collect renewable energy cells
to charge your city's Shield Generator
and protect FIRST City.
Through the power of collaboration,
you will bring hope and strengthen
the force that binds us all,
so that together we rise.
[crowd cheering, applauding]
[Kamen] In their eyes,
you see simultaneously two things:
excitement and terror,
because they're thinking,
"Where do I start?"
[girl] This is gonna be hard.
Just as we change the game every year,
we change what's in the kit every year.
And sometimes the kids will ask,
"Where are the assembly instructions?"
"There are no instructions!
We don't even know
what you're gonna build."
What is this over here?
That's a good question.
-That's what I'm trying to figure out.
-You see the lights?
[Kamen] Typically, by the way,
the kids come up with
more ingenious ways to state the problem.
It's gonna go over the bar, hook under,
and then the pulley is gonna have--
be hooked up to a motor
and be able to move around the bar.
So you have just one robot on there,
and it's level, you'll get 15 points.
[Kamen] As Einstein said,
is more important than knowledge."
The kids have the imagination
to come up with a really neat way
that we can solve this problem.
But they don't have the knowledge
that can take the engineering tools
and turn
this great imagination into reality.
That's where the mentors come in.
The kids have the enthusiasm
to try some really big idea,
and the mentors have a way to figure out
how to implement it.
It's gonna take the whole day
for the teams to understand,
"How do you play this game?
How do you get the most points?
How do you work with each other?"
In the game reveal,
we saw that there's a bunch of
different elements we have to deal with.
The game is played
Red Alliance versus Blue Alliance.
Each alliance is made up of three teams.
The goal is to score more points
than the other alliance.
You score points by shooting yellow
foam balls, also known as Power Cells,
into the goals.
You get more points for the higher goals
and fewer points for the lower goals.
At the end of the game,
your robot can score additional points
by climbing the Seesaw,
also known as the Shield Generator switch,
and hanging.
If you balance the Seesaw, making it
level, your alliance scores extra points.
No part of the robot can touch the ground.
I'm feeling kind of relieved
now that I know what's going on,
but now it's a little daunting.
Now it's time to put the field together.
We're trying to make sure that we have
a field that represents the game
as much as possible.
We're gonna start a game simulation,
and we're gonna try to act out
what we would do.
[simulation leader] So, there's gonna be
six rolling chairs, six students.
Um, one on each chair.
You guys are the robots.
The point of the simulation
is to kind of understand how the robots
will interact with the field.
-Anyone interested in being a robot?
-I want to be a robot.
-I want to be a robot.
Garret. Connor. Jacob. Lyle.
[screams, laughs]
[boy] Now we're on this side.
All right, good.
[boy 2] Ow, my legs!
Got one in.
What are the present--
Go over the agenda for today maybe.
So everyone's on the same page.
[girl] We had already picked up
our kit of parts.
I feel like we just need
to do inventory soon.
Design team needs to take lead
of the designing of the robot.
[woman] I got to know FIRS through, actually, my husband
who, you know, when I married him
A year or two in our marriage, he's like,
"There's this thing called FIRST."
He would leave me for weekends at a time
and be gone to this thing.
I was like, "Okay."
Like, he's really dedicated to service
and I love that about him, right?
And I had no idea it was actually "cool."
What really got me hooked was
when I went to their first competition.
I saw, like, mascots.
I saw music. I saw people dancing.
I saw parents there.
It was, like, a stadium of excited people.
I'm like, "This is a hidden treasure
that no one knows about.
This is so cool."
I knew that I got bit by the FIRST bug.
It was that competition
that got it for me.
I'm a science teacher at my school,
so that's why I decided
to start the TeraWatts.
I'm a little competitive.
Just a little bit.
[laughs] For the first two years,
my husband purposely didn't want to
sign us up for the same competition.
He would always say,
"That didn't work out with our schedule."
I'm like, "I secretly know."
But it's not him that's making me
competitive at all.
It's just, like, my own competitiveness.
But he does so much to help.
-It helps that I am not competitive.
-Yeah, we're opposites.
[girl] Whoo!
[woman] If you go to, like, LA Regional
and you read the game manual,
it tells you, like,
list of stuff you need for inspection.
So, one thing that you guys
are gonna work on this weekend
is the bill of materials.
It's like the inventory.
You make a list of everything
that's on the robot.
And so there's a template I uploaded
[Fatima] So our team's about 15 kids.
We have about three to four mentors.
So it's a smaller school
in a low-income neighborhood in Watts.
This thing can slide and it could snap,
and we don't want that.
-We definitely don't want that.
[Fatima] We actually don't even have
a room to work in.
We work in a hallway.
Our team, in particular,
doesn't have a lot of funding.
But the past two seasons
we've had pretty good robots
that have worked and played the game
using our tools.
So, I think it's great to show
that we don't need, you know,
fancy-schmancy equipment
to be able to have a working robot.
You're gonna have to take it off.
You wanna take this piece off.
-There it is.
-[boy] Yeah.
We'll take it off, put a washer, so
'Cause it looks like it's not durable.
Take out the arms.
[Fatima] What FIRST does is that
it doesn't tell kids what to do
or show them how to do it.
They have to figure it out.
There's a problem.
There's roadblocks, like real life.
And it was hard in the beginning
when we first started this team.
I had to tell them,
"I know this is not like school.
Because you're used to
having a worksheet."
So that's when I see
the lightbulb going off,
when they realize
it's a different type of learning.
We figured out that the shooter actually
fits in here without it obstructing this.
So what we're gonna do is
we're gonna bring these closer together.
So they could actually go up, like,
without any obstruction.
Did you guys figure out
how to mount it on here?
-'Cause that was the other question I had.
-We need to put in--
-How it's gonna travel up there.
-Look. That's the shooter.
[boy 2] It's not how it looks in
the thing, but, you know, problem-solving.
That's why kids stay.
Because it's something that--
It annoys them,
but it keeps them coming back.
'Cause they're like, "This is frustrating,
but we need to figure it out," you know?
Now, we got all our motors working.
It can't go forward or back.
All it does is basically just spin.
[Fatima] The pros of having a small team
is everyone knows each other,
and you form that bond.
The con, though, is that, unfortunately,
we don't have the hands.
[boy] That's left. And that's right.
[Fatima] Aaron is the one kid that knows
everything about every part of the robot.
It's like the gears
are fighting each other.
[Fatima] 'Cause he's so passionate,
wherever help is needed, like, he'll go.
But he does everything.
Wiring. Coding. Building.
Aaron does all that.
-Did you misunderstand the problem?
-[Aaron] Not really.
[horn honks]
Some people, they're afraid of change.
I'm not really that kind of person.
Because you don't know what you like
or what your passion is
until you try new things.
Before I joined the team,
I played football.
I played basketball.
And I was interested in anime.
At first, I learned about coding
back in sixth grade,
but I didn't really connect with it.
So I didn't really like it that much.
[woman] As a kid,
Aaron was kinda like in his shell.
He was really just to himself.
He really never bothered nobody.
He was just to himself.
Before he got into robotics,
he was kinda like
holding his feelings on the inside.
But now, he's opening up more.
Looks like they in little go-karts.
[Aaron] I seen their robot.
They have a suction cup on the bottom.
-So it can just pull itself up.
[Aaron] So one day at school,
I look over and I--
All I see is a [imitates zooming]
I'm like, "What is that?"
So, at first, I'm like,
"Hey. That's a nice robot."
And I'm like, "Can I drive it?"
He goes, "Well, no, you cannot."
And then he told me about
the robotics program.
When I showed up after school,
I realized why he didn't let me drive it.
Because I started to drive it.
It was hard to control.
So then I joined the team after that.
Something was just sparked
that he loved about it, and he kept going.
I mean, getting up at 6:30 in the morning,
telling me, "I'm gone!"
"Wait, hold on. On a Saturday?"
-Look how it do get back in its seat.
[male announcer]
Oh! High Rollers' hook fell off.
[Rhonda] Let me drive it.
[Rhonda] One day, he was showing me
how he was putting a robot together.
I was like, "How you do it that fast?"
And he goes, like, he said,
"Mama, it's all in the skills.
It's all in the skills."
[Aaron] I like coding a lot
because you're the one
who's in charge, basically.
And people, if they don't understand it,
they have to come to you.
But building robots is hard to figure out.
What code are you running?
We're running 6904 Code 2020.
-Does it have autonomous in it?
-[Aaron] No, it does not.
And just getting that code to work
took about an hour-- hour and a half.
I actually like it because if it doesn't
go right the first time,
just keep trying and trying again
until you actually, like, get it right.
[horn honks]
[girl] Right now, I go to college
in St. Paul, Minnesota.
But I usually come back to Japan
during summer and winter
'cause I'm mentoring a robotics team here.
I'm a double major in Neuroscience
and Psychology,
and I've been thinking to minor in Dance.
I think, probably, dancing ballet
is the fun thing I do.
In addition to that,
I'm also part of a rocketry team,
so it's keeping me very busy.
[in Japanese]
[Kanon] When I was in ninth grade,
I applied to a high school exchange
program in Minneapolis.
And I got to participate
in a FIRST Team called 2500 Herobotics.
Before I joined them,
I never expected that I was gonna be
interested in engineering.
But the FIRST regional inspired me a lot.
They were just so passionate about
what they were doing.
In Japan, most high schoolers
don't have the opportunities
to learn about engineering in-depth.
So, it was an amazing experience for me.
I got so determined,
I decided that I want to start
a team in Japan.
I wanted to help make it
accessible to everyone.
So, I sent an e-mail to Chiba
Institute of Technology asking for help.
[chuckling] And surprisingly,
they said yes.
[chattering in Japanese]
[Kanon, in Japanese]
[boy, in Japanese]
[Kanon] We're a community-based team.
It's not like we have
a school as a workspace.
Dr. Tomiyama was willing to give up
one of his rooms
so that we can actually have a workspace.
[Kanon, in Japanese]
[man] In Japan,
FIRST Robotics Competition is unknown.
When Kanon started this team,
there were only three teams
in the whole entire Japan.
So we decided to help her.
When she started,
she didn't have enough members
to create a team,
so she went to her friends,
and then community
and whoever she can talk to.
Once she decided to do something,
she would do it.
[chattering in Japanese]
[Kanon] One of the reasons I never
expected to be interested in engineering
is that I'd never seen a female engineer.
So, I didn't think that, like,
a girl like me can
actually succeed in the field.
I think that's kind of ridiculous,
but that's actually what happens
with many girls.
Right now, both team captains are girls,
in addition to Noi,
who is engineering captain on the team.
[Noi, in Japanese]
[boy, in Japanese]
[Noi, in Japanese]
[boy, in Japanese]
We are trying to shoot the ball
to that goal right now.
But first, we have to be able to
intake the ball,
so we are trying to do that.
We don't have any time,
so it's quite hard.
[boy 2, in Japanese]
[in Japanese]
[Noi, in Japanese]
[in Japanese]
[all laughing, applauding]
[boy 2, in Japanese]
[Noi, in Japanese]
In order to build the perfect robot,
Noi comes to the workshop every day
from 5:00 a.m. until sometimes 11:00 p.m.
She also comes from a different city.
By train, it'll take two hours.
[Noi, in Japanese]
[Kanon] For some teams,
their robots do only one
or maybe two tasks and not all of them.
But she wants to do all of them.
[speaking Japanese]
[Tomiyama] They only have six weeks,
so they tend to make mistakes
because they are in a hurry.
[speaks Japanese]
[speaks Japanese]
I'm not sure whether
they are going to be successful or not,
but they will try.
[chattering, cheering]
One of the great things about FIRS is you need
absolutely no technical background
to have a great time
and a great experience.
There are many different areas
that kids can get involved in.
We believe that helping each other matters
just as much
as technical competence matters.
Most teams have
a whole group of kids whose entire job,
not just during our season,
but throughout the year,
is to promote the values of FIRS through their community.
And we call that the Chairman's Team.
Our team has completed
over 2,000 hours of community service
and has spread awareness to over
30,000 students in the past year itself.
[girl] We want to make it commonplace for
girls everywhere to participate in STEM.
[girl 2] This is why we created the book
We hope to inspire girls from all over
and show the world
[all] Girls love robots!
[Kamen] At the end of a season,
we give out the Chairman's Award to a team
that has done something extraordinary.
Let's congratulate Team 195.
[Kamen] We want all the kids
on FIRST teams to see themselves
as a powerful network where everybody's
looking out for each other.
[chattering in Spanish]
[boy, in Spanish]
[boy 2, in Spanish]
[man, in Spanish]
[in Spanish]
Six weeks just up to your FIRST regional,
it's just barely enough time
to build a real machine
that can fulfill the challenge.
[boy 1 speaks Spanish]
[boy 2 speaks Spanish]
[Victor] As a coach,
at the same time that you're building
the machine with the students,
you also need to take care of everything
else that the competition cares about.
Because FIRST is not only about the robot.
We are focusing a lot of our attention
on the Chairman's Team.
Presenting Chairman's each year
is very, very important for our team.
[girl, in Spanish]
[girl] We are working on
a Chairman's speech
that we are presenting
at the regional in Sacramento.
[in Spanish]
We have short amount of time,
so it's really hard.
[in Spanish]
[girl, in Spanish]
[girl 2, in Spanish]
[girl 1, in Spanish]
[girl 2] Wow.
[Mariana, in Spanish]
[girl 1, in Spanish]
[girl 2]
For me to open up, it has been so hard.
The little, like, let's say the thorn
that I have here is, like,
you have just to get it all out.
And now that I'm on the Chairman's Team,
I have to show who I really am.
[in Spanish]
[girl, in Spanish]
[speaking Spanish]
[Alejandra, in Spanish]
A long, long time ago,
a space of matter from this
Okay. Again.
[clears throat]
A long, long time ago
[Alejandra, in Spanish]
Have you ever felt like
you are in a deep hole, where
Have you ever felt--
So, have you ever felt like
you are in a very deep hole?
[in Spanish]
We are the team Nautilus 4010,
and we're here to talk about us.
[in Spanish]
"you have to do the auditions."
[in Spanish]
[guitar playing]
This year,
I'm going to graduate from high school.
[in Spanish]
[guitar playing]
Stop the time right now and begin
[in Spanish]
[chattering in Spanish]
[Mariana, in Spanish]
We've been a team for several years,
so we've been able to accumulate
a lot of tools, a lot of equipment
So it's really good to have
a lot of capability available
so you can quickly prototype something.
This year, we inducted
68 people into our team,
so it's the largest team
that we've had so far.
Uh, kind of crazy.
[Jacob] Last year, we won Championships.
And this year,
I think we're
not going to make it that far.
It's week three and we're really behind
on creating the robot.
We have lots of issues.
We're not good at organizing.
We incorrectly label things.
Some wires go to the wrong places.
But, yeah, the robot is not great.
[boy snorts, chuckles]
Right now, we're replacing the wheels
on the drive chain,
uh, because we also--
we tipped it over twice during testing.
[Jacob] In the past few weeks,
we've been testing code
and making modifications
to make everything work.
When you remove something,
a bunch of errors pop up everywhere.
Once you delete something,
you have to remove a bunch of other stuff
to make the code work.
[boy grunts, groans]
Well, we're having some issues
with the battery wire
and we're trying to fix it right now.
Um, so yeah.
Let's hope that it gets fixed.
-I set it right there.
-This is what really matters.
-We can still--
-So then let's talk about auto
'Cause-- If we--
That's not what he's trying to talk about.
[Jacob] It's really stressful, actually.
We never tested
the control panel mechanism
because it was the lowest priority, and--
Uh [chuckles]
[cheering, whistling]
[Kamen] Sports has an enormous power
to direct the time and energy
and passion of kids
to develop skills in a certain way.
Once I knew
that I was gonna build this sport,
I wasn't gonna try to figure out
which parts I would take.
I wanted it all.
Everything that other sports do,
we're gonna do.
I told the teams,
"You better have a mascot.
You better name your robot."
If football needs a halftime show,
FIRST Championship needs a halftime show.
We're gonna give out letters.
We're gonna have
a double-elimination tournament.
We're gonna have a championship.
[crowd roaring]
I wanted to make sure we had it all.
So we invented the game,
but we wanna use everything else
that our culture has prepared for us.
[birds chirping]
[girl] Oh, wait. The light turned off.
The name of the robot is pretty important
for the announcer during the competition.
But the names they choose on our team,
I don't really agree with them.
[boy] So the name is Beep-Boop-Beep-Boop.
We are not having no "Beep-Boop-Bop."
-We're not having "Beep-Boop-Bop."
-[girl] Why not?
-Because it doesn't flow.
-That's not right.
-[girl] Beep-Boop-Bop. Beep-Boop-Bop.
-That's not how it works. No. No.
[girl] Samantha, Beep-Boop-Bop?
[boy] This is an important matter.
It's like naming your child.
Who names their child "Beep-Boop-Bop"?
She said it sounds like "Betty Boop."
Let's just call it Betty Boop.
-I refuse-- No.
-Okay, how about we'll have a vote?
But everyone's response will have to be
submitted by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Aaron, "Beep-Boop-Bop"
or "Beep-Boop-Beep-Boop"?
-[girl 2] We are settled.
[all laughing, exclaiming]
[girl] I will have
-I prefer "WALL-E."
-[Samantha] It's over with.
Just saying Beep-Boop-Beep-Boop--
Just say Lil' Beep.
Lil' Beep. [chuckles]
We're a sport.
We're like every other sport,
except for one major difference.
We don't win at any cost.
We're a "Coopertition."
It's never one team against another.
We asked the question,
"How do you deal with that dynamic range
of a team that has
nearly unlimited resources
playing against a team whose school
has very limited resources?"
So we tried really, really hard
to level the playing field.
We put teams in alliances.
Alliance Two would like to pick 3858.
[cheering, applauding]
[Kamen] It shows that if you can
communicate and cooperate and coordinate
and divide your skill sets,
and make your skill sets available
to other teams,
then you have a happy outcome.
[male interviewer] What do you think's
gonna take it to win this?
[boy] To win in this field,
I think you're going to need to build
a perfect alliance.
Anyone will if they want to win it.
[woman] This is it.
This is the moment that you guys
have been working so hard for.
[Fatima] "Coopertition" is a combination
of cooperation and competition.
It's truly a unique aspect of FIRS because it teaches kids
how to cooperate and compete
at exactly the same time in a world
where that usually doesn't happen.
You're in an alliance, right?
It's not just "may the best robot win."
It's "may the best alliance win."
So if you are a small team,
if you're a new team,
you can be really good at one thing
and you can actually be quite competitive
in a competition.
You know, sometimes
it's better to have a robot
that can do one thing
that's really important really well.
And so, in our team,
when you don't have a lot of members,
trying to make a robot that can do
three different things and do it well
becomes almost impossible.
So it's not a strategically good choice
to do that.
We chose to focus
on the climbing mechanism.
If we could get it to work,
this gives us a much better shot
of being a competitive robot
and being picked by an alliance.
Our team has been so lucky
because we can go to 4201
and use tools that we don't have.
We love to invite the TeraWatts
or any other team who wants to come by
and join us as we're all trying to learn
and trying to figure it out.
[Fatima] I just want everyone to know
this about my husband.
He's the best husband, and every woman
should find a partner like this.
He does so much
because he's helping two teams.
[boy] Up we go.
[Fatima] When we come here,
it's a game-changer for teams like ours.
There are kids helping us.
We have their mentors.
The kids see other teams.
They're inspired.
They're motivated to finish their robot.
They don't feel alone.
Especially for our girls
to be able to see other girls.
I'm hoping that'll inspire them
to use their voice.
What I think is beautiful
is that privilege isn't a bad thing.
It's only a bad thing if you don't
help others with what you have.
They're the perfect example of that.
[Fazlul] When you're in a team together,
when you're working together,
you're trying to help each other out.
There's an end goal
that we're trying to reach.
But the key is gracious professionalism
because you don't want to burn a bridge.
You don't know if that person
that you're working with and talking to
is somebody that you're gonna need
three months down the line,
six months down the line.
[Fatima] We need to encourage
more teams to give back.
Whether you're from a low-income community
or high-income--
That's how the world
is gonna be a better place.
Why are you-- Why are you not
Why robot not moving? [chuckles]
[boy] Oh, man. Okay.
[Aaron] All right, now it should.
-Now it is.
-[boy] Look at that move!
[Aaron] Hey! How's that for you?
Getting a robot to climb is difficult.
-[boy] Oh, it slid.
[Aaron] Just not really working at all.
[boy 2] We need an all-white robot.
I think we could spray-paint the entire
[Aaron] I don't really know
what's going down with it.
Lot of rambling going on in my head
and fighting with each other.
Trying to figure out what we're gonna do.
If we actually manage to get
a complete level climb,
we'll score a lot of points for our team.
And we haven't made it
that far in the competition,
so hopefully this year
we'll do a little better.
I've been working on
writing code for this.
It's gonna make use of a sensor,
which Malcolm is hooking up now.
We're finally working as a team.
I had my doubts at first
as to how we would make the transition.
But everything
is beginning to come together.
[Jacob] I always wondered
how Microsoft Windows exists
because it seems
so intricate and complicated.
It turns out it was a team effort.
Not just one person.
Currently, we're experimenting with how
we're gonna use our double-roller design.
We're working on
the belly pan for our new robot.
And this is basically, all of the wires
and major modules go on here.
working on wire management
and also securing all the electronics.
[Fazlul] It's absolutely amazing to see
these kids working together.
When you have to build a robot
in a matter of six weeks,
it's impossible for a single student
to do that by themselves.
And so this is when
the realization comes in
that they cannot do everything themselves.
They have to work with a team
to be able to do it.
Let's go!
I'm excited to see what our team can do.
Very often, during the regional,
things will pop up,
and we'll need somebody to either help
our team, another team,
or maybe the event in general.
We are hosting the regional here,
and we wanna make sure it's successful
and we wanna continue to host
the regionals here for years to come.
[man, in Spanish]
[woman, in Spanish]
[in Spanish]
[boy speaking Spanish]
[Mariana] The competition in Sacramento
is coming quickly.
[in Spanish]
It's a lot of pressure
because it's like the whole team
is depending on you.
[girl, in Spanish]
[in Spanish]
Chairman's is the most prestigious award
in the whole competition.
So, I want the speech to be perfect.
[in Spanish]
[in Spanish]
[Mariana, in Spanish]
[Victor] I think that's how Nautilus
gives something to the society.
Believing in others
and trying to make them understand
that the world could be a good place.
That's the FIRST values at its most,
The kids are becoming agents of change
that this world needs
in order to make it a better world.
[Mariana, girl in Spanish]
[chattering in Japanese]
[Kanon, in Japanese]
[Kanon] We hold this sponsor night
at the end of building season every year
to appreciate everyone who supported us,
especially our friends,
family and the sponsors.
[chattering in Japanese]
[speaks Japanese]
[girl, in Japanese]
[Kanon] When we first started the team,
we had so much difficulty
finding sponsors.
In Japan, it's really unheard of
that companies support
high school organizations.
We don't usually have
extracurricular activities.
It's just really important to show
that we have a finished robot.
We just need
those resources to keep running.
Hopefully, we'll be able to finish
everything in three hours. [laughs]
[in Japanese]
[Tomiyama] The robot is not completed yet.
The season's not going as planned because
we were going to go to the China Regional
but that was canceled
because of this coronavirus.
So now they can go to the United States
to compete and they are excited for that.
I'm sure they can do it.
[Noi, in Japanese]
[all laughing]
[gears grind]
Ah. [speaks Japanese]
[gears grind]
[chattering in Japanese]
[Noi] Ah.
[Kanon, in Japanese]
[chattering in Japanese]
[girl chuckles]
[in Japanese]
[Tomiyama chuckles]
[Tomiyama] Nobody would say they are
satisfied with what they have done.
They found out what they can do,
what they cannot do.
And that awareness is very important.
If you're making robots,
you make mistakes
again and again and again
before the robot really works.
But with this competition
coming very fast,
boy, that's tough.
[Kanon] We had some problems.
We definitely need to keep working.
I hope we will have enough time to,
like, finish our robot.
But who knows? [laughs]
[birds chirping]
-Good morning, LA!
Welcome to the 2020
FIRST Robotics Competition.
Are you ready to rise?
[Kamen] These kids work really hard
each year to build a robot.
There is so much work to do
to design this thing,
assemble this thing, test this thing,
learn how to drive this thing,
and these kids deserve
their moment in the sun.
[Jacob] In a regional competition,
you can win the event,
or you can win an award, and that will
advance you to the World Championships.
I'm excited. I've been waiting
for this day for so long.
We were behind on a lot of stuff,
but we pushed through
all the challenges we have.
We got back on track.
[Aaron] We made a lot of progress.
We got the climber to work,
so all our hard work wasn't for nothing.
Now we're all just getting ready
for the first match.
The way that qualification matches work
is you're randomly placed
in an alliance of three robots
against another random three robots.
You might be working with
a team in one match,
but in the next qualification match
you might be against that team.
So it's a lot of strategizing,
a lot of trying to get in their head
and figure out,
"How do we work together well?"
And then when we go to finals,
the top eight teams
get to pick their alliance partners.
And if your alliance wins the competition,
all three teams
get to go to Championships.
[emcee] So our first match,
starting off with our alliance captains.
Let's hear it for Team 4201.
-[announcer] The Vitruvian Bots!
Yeah. There they are.
[emcee] Three. Two. One. Go!
[fanfare plays]
[announcer] Vitruvian Bots launching.
[Jacob] For the first 15 seconds,
all of the robots are operating
by themselves, autonomously.
So we only end up shooting one
and that one fails.
-[buzzer sounds]
-[bell chimes]
Now the drivers
have taken control of the robot.
The objective of the game
is to score as many balls
or Power Cells into the Power Ports.
[boy] Shooting. Shooting. Shooting.
[Jacob] We get five Power Cells
into the upper port.
Very accurate.
[boy] We're going. Shoot, shoot, shoot.
[Jacob] There are a few robots that will
try to keep us from scoring those points.
-[girl] Oh, nice.
-Come back. Come back. Come back.
[emcee] Going back in again!
[Jacob] The Red Alliance
is currently leading, and if we climb,
we're probably going to win.
[boy] All right. Climbing.
Red Alliance has a clear advantage.
And the Vitruvian Bots continue.
Here come the Vitruvian Bots.
Seven seconds left. Can they do it?
They get up. Will they balance?
Three. Two. One.
-[buzzer sounds]
-And at the last second
-Yes! Nice work.
That is one high-performance robot.
And the Red Alliance powers up the Shield,
defending FIRST City.
[Jacob] I'm so proud of this match.
The ability for a robot
to balance by itself was really key for us
because it allowed it
to get those extra points.
[Fatima] It's a lot to think about.
You guys got it. If you work as a team
Also if you go there early,
the other robots aren't going to be there.
So you can line up easier.
You're not gonna be blocked.
Your view's not going to be blocked.
[boy] Right.
You got this.
Remember. Don't go too fast.
-Not too fast. Not too slow.
-Don't go too slow.
-All right.
-You got it.
We've fixed up the coding.
We got everything working.
But I'm still nervous.
It's just like, "Is this thing gonna work?
Is it gonna mess up?"
Just thinking about
all the possibilities that could happen.
-Let's hear it for 6904!
[announcer speaking, indistinct]
Yeah, guys, you should be happy.
Enjoy this. Yeah!
Go, TeraWatts! Whoo!
[emcee] Drivers, behind the line!
Three. Two. One. Go!
[fanfare plays]
-[announcer] And right off the bat
-All right.
-Two. One
-[buzzer sounds]
[bell chimes]
[announcer] And the Blue Alliance
comes away with the advantage.
It's 35-4.
[Aaron] The strategy was just to
play defense against the other team.
So basically stop
the other team from scoring.
They're just missing the upper port!
[Aaron] But we really need
to make sure that
we focus on getting the robot to climb.
Okay. You got 30 seconds. All right.
time to activate the energy shield.
[boy] Do it.
[Aaron] Calm down. Take it slow.
You better not mess this up.
Better not mess this up.
[Joana] Are you guys ready? Can we climb?
-[boy 2] Go! Go!
-[Joana] Go, go, go. Go. Go. Go.
Let's go, guys.
Good job, Marco.
Good job. Good job too. Good job.
[Aaron] I felt great, excited--
happy that it actually worked.
-How was that?
-That was pretty good, Marco. Straight up.
I was more or less trying to stay
in the coding zone
so I don't get too overconfident.
[announcer] One of these teams
powered up the Generator.
One of these teams defended FIRST City!
[Aaron] We end up losing the first match.
But if other teams see
that you have a pretty good climber,
they'll want to choose you for an alliance
because it could help them out.
Yeah, that's right. That was awesome.
You went back early. You guys lined up.
You made the double climb.
I mean, dude, what more do you want?
I mean, maybe winning the match.
But whatever.
This is actually the first time we have
been competing in the same event together.
-On purpose.
He-- Yeah, he would-- Well, I--
It might ruin our marriage, so--
Somebody's a little competitive.
I'm not gonna say who.
[emcee] Three, two, one! Go!
Go, Red Alliance!
Hey, excuse me. Can you sit down?
I can't see my robot.
Yeah! Whoo!
[bell chimes]
[boy] And we're down one. We got it.
We only got four afterwards to go.
The Red Alliance takes the lead
[whistling, cheering]
Yeah, we got it. We got it! Whoo!
Love you guys so much!
[Jacob] When you're up
in the stands, you're cheering
not for a team that you like.
You're cheering for your team
that you put work into.
And you're also cheering for
your alliance members.
Oh, and also there's scouting.
Okay, so you guys are Red Alliance.
And these guys are Blue Alliance.
-We're Red?
You guys need to coordinate
between the three of you.
[Jacob] You're actively collecting data
from each of the matches.
You're just looking and it's like, uh,
"Oh, that robot shot three Power Cells.
Write that down.
That robot shot four Power Cells.
Write that down.
Ooh, A tech foul. Write that down."
[girl] 980. No defense.
Note their defense.
[Jacob] That's not as fun, but still
You're doing stuff from the stands.
-[buzzer sounds]
Then there is another kind of scouting
and that's scouting in the pits.
Asking other teams questions.
I'm Jacob. I'm from Team 4201.
I just wanted to ask you a few questions
about your robot.
Thinking about what kind of skills
you would like in an alliance partner.
Can you climb?
-We can climb.
[Jacob] You get to ask them stuff like,
"Can your robot do this and that?"
Which is really important
in actually choosing an alliance.
Right now, The TeraWatts are ranked 37th.
But this competition,
it's all about climbing.
I'll tell you this right now.
There are only 15 teams total
that have demonstrated a climb
during this Regional,
and you guys are one of them.
So that means you guys
are top 25% right now.
That's really good. Good job out there.
The problem that the Vitruvian Bots had
in most of our matches
is another robot
hasn't been able to consistently climb.
So if another robot can get themselves
up there and stay up there,
we'll be able to balance with them,
get their support.
-We can do that.
-You can do that.
Maybe we'll be in an alliance.
[emcee] Welcome to the alliance selection
here at the LA Regionals!
We have our ranks, and it's time
to allow them to pick their partners.
Please welcome your top-ranked team, 4201!
[announcer] From Da Vinci Science
in El Segundo, California,
it's the Vitruvian Bots.
Who will you invite to join your alliance?
Team 4201
would like to roll the dice with Team 987.
[cheering, applause]
Team 987, do you accept?
Team 987 graciously accepts
4201's invitation.
They're now on the first seed alliance.
Team 3408 graciously invites Team 5802,
Los STEMateros, to their alliance.
[woman] Whoo!
[emcee] On to number four.
It's Team 207's turn.
Who will you invite to join your alliance?
Team 207 would love to invite
Team 2637 to our alliance.
-[emcee] There we are.
Up to the fifth seed captain.
5553 and 1515 would like to invite 6904.
Okay. We have our fifth seed alliance.
Four more teams to go.
[Aaron] I didn't believe it at first.
I was thinking, like, "Is he just joking?"
So we were kind of excited.
Because we got selected for an alliance,
we have a chance to go to Championships.
On the climb, we ended up losing 25 points
because there was touching
at the bottom of it.
Whoever's playing defense,
make sure you don't make contact
'cause that's how they get
so many penalty points--
One of the robots cannot shoot from the--
-Cannot shoot from the Trench.
He's blocking that space
so they cannot shoot.
[Fatima] There's a lot of fouls.
He couldn't go in that area
'cause then we would get fouled.
So against a number one team, we have to--
Those points are important.
So we all have to be careful.
-[boy 2] Let's double-check the robots--
-[Fatima] Restart the computer, batteries.
[emcee] Drivers, behind the lines!
Three. Two. One. Go!
[announcer] And quarterfinal two
tiebreaker on the way.
On to Blue Alliance,
put some into the outer port.
[bell chimes]
And the Blue Alliance takes a slight lead.
-Whoa! Go, TeraWatts!
All right, finding their positions.
Jet Stream is in the top of the Trench
from there.
[boy] Someone should get--
Someone get the ball out of the way.
[Joana] Yeah, can you guys move the ball?
Move the balls out of the way. Yes.
Blue Alliance, nice shooting all around.
A very close match.
with their long shots going in.
-[Fatima] Yeah, go. Go, go, go, go.
-MorTorq trying to get it in.
Go. Try the climb.
Go, go, go. Line up, Marco!
It could come down to this endgame
And here we go.
Yeah! Go!
[announcer] Thirty seconds to go.
The endgame being played.
There we go. There we go.
Pick it up now!
MorTorq trying to find a location
where they can get in
to get their hook up.
Eleven, ten seconds to go!
[Joana] We're way too-- Yeah.
Replacement robots are being put on top.
-[buzzer sounds]
[Aaron] Our robot did pull the climb.
But the climb got stuck halfway.
So, it just didn't count.
[announcer] Our referees
are confirming all the scores.
Whoever wins will go on to the semifinals.
Scores coming up.
It's gonna be the Red Alliance
advancing to our semifinals.
Red Alliance will be advancing.
Let's give these guys a round of applause.
5553, 1515 and 6904.
Good job. Good job. You did a good job.
[Fatima] It's really not about winning.
Of course, it's a competition.
You wanna, like, do well.
But what it's really about is the skills
the kids learn.
Communication. Working together.
Solving problems.
Winning comes in life skills. Right?
And the kids actually feel that.
It's not just, "Don't worry.
You were a good sport. You played well."
No, the kids actually will be like,
"Wow. We actually grew a lot."
They understand that.
You need to be proud.
You guys got really far.
And it was a really simple robot,
right, so
We did pretty good.
We got to the quarterfinals.
Which we were all happy for, so
Well, we gotta stay for the awards, right?
The safety award.
I want the safety award. [laughs]
[emcee] Welcome
to the Los Angeles Regional Finals!
One alliance will be
our regional champions.
One will be our finalists.
Let's hear it for Team 4201!
[man] 1197 likes to stick their nose out
over the line.
-Yeah, but it's--
-[man] So we can hit them.
And we just need to sit here
and ping-pong between 'em.
All right.
-[man] All right, good?
-[boy] Yeah. I'm good.
-[man] Good luck, guys.
[emcee] Drivers, behind the line.
Three, two, one, go!
[fanfare plays]
[bell chimes]
[announcer] Here come the TorBots
The Blue Alliance is having
to feed Power Cells into the field.
[crowd chanting] chanRed Alliance!
Red Alliance!
Red Alliance!
It's time to climb. It's 140-75.
The High Rollers and the Vitruvian Bots
are gonna try and balance that switch.
The High Rollers are attached.
The Vitruvian Bots are up.
And it was the Red Alliance!
[Jacob] It turned out
that we had a well-built robot
that was very good at the game
and doing things quickly.
[man] Congratulations.
[Jacob] I was doubting it earlier,
but it seemed to work out very nicely.
There were no electrical or wiring issues,
which is pretty astonishing, actually.
Usually, there are at least seven
at a regional.
Because of the coronavirus,
events have, in fact, been closed
and teams have been removed from events.
Do I think Championships
are going to be called off?
Oh, I hope not. Of course, I hope not.
[Fazlul] It was just a few days
after our win at the LA Regional
and we were riding high as a team.
We were excited.
We were ready to go to Championships.
But people were
already starting to get nervous.
[Jacob] I just happened to check my e-mail
and something popped up.
It was a message and it said
that Championships was canceled
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 12th, 2020.
"Dear friends, colleagues and partners"
"It is with deep disappointment
that I share an update on the immediate
suspension of the current FIRST season
and the cancellation
of both Championship events."
"This cancellation
of both Championship events."
"The cancellation of both Championship"--
"Both Championship events."
"The decision has been made
based on guidance
from the World Health Organization,
Centers for Disease Control,
and state and local health officials
as well as the declaration of"
I had been looking forward to going.
We had worked out everything in the robot.
We were just prepared
to take on anyone and everyone.
I'm sure there were other teams that
have been looking forward to competing
because there were some teams
that never really got to compete.
[Kanon] When I heard the rest
of the season will be suspended,
I was really, really shocked.
[Noi, in Japanese]
[Mariana, in Spanish]
And just to not have that,
it's kind of really hard.
To everybody in the FIRST community,
FIRST has never been about the robots.
It's never been about the competitions.
It's never been about the events.
It's about building a community
and at this point,
it's a global community.
Let's use this situation as a reminder
of how important it is
that we all work together.
We should see this problem,
like all other problems,
as an opportunity to create a solution
that not only will benefit us
but will be scalable to help the rest
of the world deal with this problem.
Even though the robotics season
was canceled,
we were still very into, like,
a robotics mindset.
We're kind of always into that.
Once we saw the challenges of health care
workers and essential workers needing PPE,
we decided that we would help out
by 3-D printing headbands,
face shields,
and then also sewing, um, face masks.
[boy 2]
[male broadcaster] The Afghan girls'
robotics team in Herat, Afghanistan,
is busy designing something
completely different--
much-needed ventilators
during the coronavirus pandemic.
My team is 5653.
We were having a discussion about
what is something that we could do
to help our community with.
And that ended up being
the grocery delivery robot.
[Kamen] If you wanted quantitative proof
of the impact of FIRST,
all you have to do is look at what's
happening through this COVID crisis.
Not one, not two, not three,
but most of the thousands of teams
immediately mobilized
in many different ways,
because that's what FIRST is about.
[speaking Spanish]
I've been talking with
the other team members,
telling them that it doesn't matter
if we are, like, all apart.
I mean, we are still a family.
We are still a team.
So we were like,
"We can do something here in Mexico."
Some people don't have Wi-Fi and a laptop,
so we are preparing presentations
for those students
so they can still be learning
in this quarantine.
These kids were mobilized to say,
"I see a problem out there.
I've gotta start working on a solution
and we better do something."
There's not one right strategy for a robot
and there is not one right response
[Noi, in Japanese]
When we see a crisis,
when we see a problem
that we're trying to solve,
the first thing that comes
to people's minds is, "How do I solve it?
How do I tackle the problem?"
That's kind of built into FIRST.
This is one of those situations
where, as a world,
we need to work together
to solve this problem.
[Jacob] Is it on?
My team has continued
to have robotics meetings.
We're trying to figure out
what we could be doing to help.
I'm teaching everyone on the team
how to code.
It's honestly
a very important skill to have
because technology, ultimately,
it's the future.
[Aaron] No one likes this quarantine
because you kinda need
human interactions with other people.
So one project
that we're working on is a podcast.
[Fatima] It's so beautiful that they've
come to this podcast being about,
you know, people of color
overcoming barriers in STEM.
[girl] Join us once a month
as we talk to other people of color
leading in STEM.
Get to learn about the obstacles
they have faced
and how they overcame them.
They've seen their resources lacking
and they're finding ways now
to talk about it and overcome it.
I think it's gonna be a great way
to let their voice be heard.
I'm not surprised that so many teams
have stepped up.
These are the values
that FIRST really encourages.
They choose to still find humor
and laugh and smile,
and be there for each other,
and not lose sight of their commitments,
and I find that, you know,
really, really inspiring.
FIRST really promotes Coopertition,
gracious professionalism
and teaches children to be adults,
to turn into these responsible,
communicative, empathetic,
collaborative adults.
It is way more than a club.
It's like a way of life almost, right?
Teaches you the skills of life.
[Kanon] I personally really want
every student in Japan to, like,
have the opportunity to learn engineering
through FIRST because it's really awesome.
I'm also working at FIRST Japan
so that we can create more teams in Japan.
The community here is amazing.
Suddenly you have so many friends
from all around the world.
That's just so important.
[Noi, in Japanese]
[Aaron] FIRST helped me.
Life is like a game.
To succeed, you have to pass one thing
to go to the next level
and if you don't put work in
or time into that,
then you're not gonna
move on to the next level.
I think it's important
that we teach the new generation
because if they really want to get into,
like, engineering a robot--
I feel like they should start
in either FIRST,
or any other division of it,
because you take away a lot from it.
It's like a family basically.
Because we all get along
and we have to help each other out.
But when we're not doing that, you know,
we just hang out, crack jokes.
[all laughing]
[Jacob] What FIRST Robotics has done
is it showed me how to work
as part of a team.
It showed me
how to effectively collaborate
and that working on a team
is in fact possible.
And in some cases
better than working individually.
If our world can work as a team,
everything will work out.
FIRST is respect. It is teamwork.
It is technology.
It is preparing students for the future.
It is
more than robots.
[Cinthya, in Spanish]
[Mariana] I realized that
I really like to help people,
so I've become a mentor,
and now my job is to share all of
that knowledge that I have with my team.
This is how I'm getting to build a legacy.
Without FIRST, I wouldn't have these
people around me that inspire me so much.
[chanting in Spanish]
[in Spanish]
I still don't know what career
I'm going to choose,
but right now, I'm not afraid of it.
FIRST has given me the opportunity
to become better and better
and to never stop dreaming.
[guitar playing]
[Kamen] We created FIRST to inspire kids,
but over the years what I realized was
the inspiration is what these kids
are doing for their teachers
and their mentors and their parents.
And when you can take
sometimes the most unlikely kids,
and they reluctantly go
to this FIRST meeting,
and they're intimidated
to look at all this stuff.
And by the end of the season,
they'll look you right in the eye
and they'll say, "I can do this,"
and they inspire us.
[upbeat music playing]
[music ends]
[electronic music playing]
[music ends]