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Fluid power plays major role in FIRST

Third in a series

Third in a series

In recent issues, H&P has covered the FIRST Robotics Competition, in particular a team from Norwell High School in Norwell, Mass. The competition is a fun way to expose high-school students to science and technology, especially fluid power.

This year's competition has 935 teams, with an average of 25 students each. That adds up to more than 23,000 high-school students learning about and using pneumatics. And it seems they like what they see: Last year, 80% of the teams used pneumatics in their robot design.

Recognizing the benefits of this exposure, the fluid power industry is a proud supporter of FIRST. Four fluid power industry organizations — the National Fluid Power Association, Fluid Power Distributors Association, Fluid Power Educational Foundation, and Fluid Power Society — worked together to develop, a Web site designed to assist teams wanting to use pneumatics in their robots. In addition, a number of manufacturers and distributors have donated more than $2 million in components for the pneumatic parts kits each team receives, as well as countless hours of volunteer time.

If you want to learn more about the program, visit the FIRST Web site at