BEST is a non-profit, volunteer-based organization whose mission is to inspire students to pursue careers in engineering, science, and technology through participation in a sports-like, science and engineering-based robotics competition. Each year features a new game with themes ranging from nanotechnology used in the medical field to Martian supply carriers. The yearly competition simulates two real-world activities: the design and construction of a robot to complete a specific task and the development of a marketing plan to sell the robot.
For more information about BEST, please click the image.
Azalea City BEST was started in 2004 and renamed to Jubilee BEST in 2006. Jubilee BEST is made up of 30 schools from southern Alabama. Initially, Jubilee grew too fast, and schools from the Florida Panhandle formed Emerald Coast BEST. The Jubilee BEST Director is Robin Fenton, who is now a member of BEST's national board of directors. Each year, Jubilee BEST is very successful at South's BEST, winning several high-ranking awards.
For more information about Jubilee BEST, please click the image.
In 2001, Auburn University's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and College of Sciences and Mathematics jointly created a local BEST hub, Alabama BEST, as an effort to "grow" future engineers, scientists, and technical professionals to meet the future needs of business and industry in the state. Alabama BEST made a tremendous impact in its first year as a BEST competition site. Word of the competition spread throughout Alabama and even across state lines as more organizations and universities wanted to know how to start BEST competitions in their communities. Alabama BEST became South's BEST, serving hubs east of the Mississippi River. It grew from those first 36 teams to 50 teams from 11 hubs in 2008.
For more information about South's BEST, please click the image.
BEST 2014: Bladerunner
Below is the official video from BEST regarding this year's game.
(Taken from the Official Game Rule Book) The engineering challenge is to design a vehicle capable of transporting and maneuvering structures of extreme length and weight to the assembly site without negatively affecting America’s transportation system. There are also logistic challenges to overcome prior to transportation and assembly of the wind turbines. Due to the potential roadway damage, transportation law requires an Over Size Over Weight (OSOW) permit be obtained prior to transport. The cost of obtaining the permit contributes to the maintenance of the roadway. Additionally, some environmentally sensitive areas exist which hamper the development of the infrastructure required to deliver the components to the assembly site. The transportation path travels through the habitat of an endangered species (Prairie Chicken Environments). Federal law requires relocation of endangered species to an acceptable alternative habitat. Transport of the components to the assembly site can begin once the logistic challenges are resolved. Once the components are delivered to the assembly site, the vehicle will construct the wind turbines. Cranes on-site will aid in the final upright positioning of the fully completed turbines.
BEST Robotics is searching for the optimum solution to this engineering challenge. It is calling for innovative engineering corporations to develop and build a prototype vehicle to participate in a competition to win a contract with an emerging national wind energy company. The BEST award will go to the corporation with the total package: transportation and assembly performance (game scoring), innovation and robustness of the vehicle, engineering approach and documentation (notebook), marketing and presentation of the project, environmental stewardship, and spirit and sportsmanship during the competition.
In addition, an agreement with your neighboring company can be made that allows the cooperating teams to work together with a mix of parts on the small and large turbines.