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More than 1,500 FIRST Robotics Teams Go Into “Overdrive” with the Aid of Donated Plastic Machinery Components from igus

igus Inc.

Company announces its continued support of multinational robotics competition

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. – January 8, 2008 – FIRST® (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics students learned their robots will have to compete in ‘‘overdrive’‘ during the 17th annual FIRST Robotics Competition, which kicked off at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, N.H. on Saturday.  This year’s game, called ‘‘FIRST Overdrive’‘, challenges students to build a robot capable of kicking or carrying 40’‘ inflated trackballs around a circular, indoor field.  The robots also will have to knock down and move the trackballs around the field, passing them either under or over a 6’6’‘ overpass comprised of gymnasium-like rungs.  For bonus points, the teams can position the trackballs back onto the overpass before the two minute, 15 second match comes to an end.

All 1,500 participating FIRST teams have the opportunity to use various plastic machinery components donated by igus® Inc., the leading developer of Energy Chain Systems®, Chainflex® continuous-flex cables and iglide® plastic bearings.  FIRST teams hailing from around various places around the nation such as Brazil, Canada, the U.S. and Israel, watched the festivities via NASA TV broadcast or web cast from 49 different kick-off sites.

At the event, participants received a kit of common parts, including components from igus, which they will use to build their robot.  The students also had the opportunity to see this year’s game field where, in six weeks, their completed robots will go head to head in the competition.

Igus has been a platinum-level supplier for the FIRST Robotics Competition for three years.  For the 2008 competition, the company donated a wide range of products, including:

  • micro Energy Chain® cable carriers;
  • iglide J plastic plain bearings;
  • iglide M250 plastic plain bearings;
  • iglide MCI plastic clip bearings;
  • igubal® spherical bearings, including rod end, pillow block and flange designs;
  • DryLin® R linear bearings;
  • DryLin N linear guide systems; and
  • DryLin S aluminum shafting.

In March of 2005, igus launched the Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, to foster the mechanical design ideas of students with a passion for engineering by providing free product samples.  As a product sponsor of FIRST, igus is able to aid the organization in promoting science and technology among tens of thousands of students, while at the same time educating FIRST participants about the merits and benefits of plastic components.

‘‘Igus has been extremely proactive about supporting organizations that promote both interest and the pursuit of degrees and careers in engineering-based fields,’‘ said Carsten Blase, vice president of igus.  ‘‘Through our Y.E.S. Program, igus strives to accomplish goals similar to those of FIRST Robotics, making igus’ support of the competition a win-win situation.  Each year, igus’ contribution has grown, and for 2008, we have donated more products to the FIRST teams than ever before.  We are eager to see how the parts are used and hope the products aid the students in building their best entries to date.’‘

Igus encourages teams to visit the Y.E.S. Program website at www.igus.com/yesprogram to request additional products or technical assistance.  Igus also supplies FIRST participants with components outside of the common kit of parts, at no cost to them.  Students using igus products on their FIRST robot are invited to contact Courtney Toomey at ctoomey@igus.com to have their FIRST experience featured on the Y.E.S. website.  For more information about FIRST, or to see a video explanation of this year’s game challenge, go to www.usfirst.org.

About igus

Igus Inc., founded in 1985 and based in East Providence, R.I., develops and manufactures industry-leading plastic cable carriers, continuous-flex cables, plastic bearings and linear guide systems.  With more than 28,000 products available from stock, the company meets the motion control and machinery component needs of customers worldwide.  Product lines include Energy Chain Systems to protect and house moving cables, Chainflex continuous-flex cables, iglide self-lubricating, oil-free, plastic bearings, DryLin linear guide systems and igubal spherical bearings.  For more information, contact igus at (800) 521-2747 or visit www.igus.com.

Igus donates its plastic machinery components to 1,500 FIRST Robotics teams, page 3

About FIRST

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people.  Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology and engineering.  With the support of many of the world’s most well-known companies, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST Robotics Competition for high school students and the FIRST LEGO® League for children 9-14 years old.  To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

igus, Energy Chain Systems, iglide, Energy Chain, igubal and DryLin are registered trademarks of igus Inc.  All other company names and products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

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