Is it Impossible: uniting the world’s youth across borders?

Impossible Robotics – the Dutch student/inventors who compete in the global FIRST Robotics Competition –  have learned that Science can solve humanity’s problems when the world’s youth work together. That ethos lies at the heart of the FIRST organisation which is a not-for-profit charity fostering a global interest in science amongst young people, whilst encouraging teamwork and competition in an environment of mutual respect …Gracious Professionalism.

Impossible Robotics are living that philosophy, and this year have devised a schedule which demonstrates it powerfully:

In March, FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team 5412, otherwise known as Impossible Robotics from the Netherlands, will be competing as the only International FRC team in the Mexican FRC Regional …the first time this has happened.

The event will be held in March in Mexico City with 26 Mexican teams taking part. After the event Impossible Robotics will travel by bus with Mexican FRC team 2283, Panteras on a symbolic journey across the Mexican/US border to attend the next stage of the competition – the Bayou Regional – where the two teams will join forces …competing together as one.

The Mexican/US border has been in the news a lot lately, and not in a positive way, so the two teams are delighted to make this gesture in the interests of international harmony. “FIRST isn’t so much about robots, but about culture, cooperation and the youth from around the Globe working together crossing lines in the sand”; says the team spokesman Henk van der Wal.

This is the fifth season that Impossible Robotics are competing in a FIRST event. Previous successes include winning First Place for Inspiration; forming a second Dutch FRC team; earning the right to represent the Netherlands twice at the FIRST Global Challenge event – in the USA, and in Mexico; …and winning awards along the way.

FIRST encourage teams to organise outreach work to further encourage an interest in science among young people around the world: Impossible Robotics say: “What we are even more proud of is the fact that we can manage to build a working robot within six weeks with inexperienced Middle Schoolers from seven different schools and we have attended over one hundred outreach events over the last four years, inspiring thousands of children with our robots and stories about our adventures.”

“Our fifth season is going to be a very special one; they tell us: For the first time we will be competing in two FRC Regionals back to back. We were impressed by the Mexican hospitality and their passion for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the FIRST program …so we decided to return to a Mexican FRC Regional, in addition to the Bayou Regional we will be attending.”

In the true spirit of the games, Impossible Robotics say that they have seen an opportunity to become: “International Ambassadors for the Mexican FIRST Community to show our appreciation and to inspire other International teams to follow over the next seasons. Needless to say we are thrilled and looking forward to this event.”

Well done to the team. We at Victron Energy sponsor Impossible Robotics. We’re excited about the work they are doing and look forward to hearing reports of their progress in this year’s competition; and more stories of cross-border diplomacy in the name of harmony and compassion.

You can follow Impossible Robotic’s journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Justin Tyers

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