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February 23, 2011

FedEx Offers Transportation Services for FIRST Robotics Events

FedEx Corp, a provider of transportation services, will offer transportation for more than 1,000 robots from student teams around the U.S. who are competing in the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) events.

FedEx supports this competition with a shipment donation, spread over all U.S. teams, to inspire the next generation's interest and participation in science and technology. More than 50,000 high-school students will compete in the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition this season.

“FIRST brings the excitement of a sporting event to science and technology via all of our robotics competitions,” said Bill Miller (News - Alert), director of the FIRST Robotics Competition. “We create the excitement, the challenge and the fun in STEM while recognizing our technology, science, and engineering students as leaders in the making.”

The transportation company will move 227 tons of U.S. robots and crates, at an average of 400 pounds per team, through its networks. The FIRST team shipments will benefit from FedEx’s innovation that includes computers in-delivery vehicles, tracking capabilities and software, package-status tracking, and use of wireless technology for shipping.

“Innovation is an integral part of the FedEx culture and business strategy,” said Stephanie Butler, manager of Corporate Contributions at FedEx, in a statement. “We are very active with Junior Achievement and Teach for America, as well as FIRST, and firmly believe that to lead in technology, to innovate and produce jobs, we need to support education and foster passion for science and technology.”

The student teams have only six weeks to build the robot to meet specifications. They work under strict guidelines to create their entries for the 20th Season game. FedEx began the six-week stretch on January 8, 2011, delivering materials needed for robot design.

Recently, FedEx announced that it opened a corporate data center in the Northgate business park that will replace a nearly 30-year-old similar facility near its corporate headquarters in Memphis, Tenn.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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