All-girl teams make their presence felt at regional high school robotics competitions

6 min read

Thousands of teenagers descended on the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena the second weekend in March—not for a rock concert but for a regional robotics competition, one of 37 such events held Internationally. These competitions have been going on for 18 years now, but for the first time, all-girls teams made their presence felt.

The teens came bearing robots—constructed of aluminum, steel, plastic, and wood—weighing 40 to 55 kilograms, reaching as high as 5 meters and capable of draining a 12-volt, 18-ampere-hour motorcycle battery in under 3 minutes. The teens had less than six weeks to design and build robots to play a simple game: each team allies its robot with two other robots, then competes against another three-team alliance in placing inflated rings onto a rack on a carpeted playing field. Each new ring an alliance piles on the rack scores more points than the one that came before.

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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