Kettering Kickoff is Sept. 16-17

Sep 12, 2011

Forty teams will compete for championship trophies during the 12th Annual Kettering Kickoff Robotics competition, Sept. 16-17 in the Recreation Center.

Blue squares, white circles and red triangles will be in motion at Kettering University on Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Sept. 17, when Kettering hosts its 12th Annual Kettering Kickoff Robotics Competition.  Many of Michigan’s best high school robotics teams will compete in Kettering’s Recreation Center.

The event is free and open to the public.  Teams will begin arriving Friday afternoon for a variety of social activities, tours of Kettering’s campus and practice matches.  Tournament action on Saturday runs from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The contest's game is called “Logo Motion” and features the three famous symbols of FIRST’s colorful logo.  The images were selected as a way to showcase FIRST Robotics’ 20th anniversary in the U.S.

Kettering Kickoff Founder Bob Nichols said this year’s Kickoff roster features 40 teams.  The Kickoff is a popular annual contest that matches the 2011 robots from the FIRST Robotics competition season with 2011-12 high school teams.  "Think of it as the old robots with the new teams," Nichols explained.  "It helps the teams build skills and camaraderie before the competition season begins in January."

The 2011 game, Logo Motion, is strictly offense, Nichols explained.  “Large robots built by high school teams, aided by their mentors and coaches, are designed to grab colorful inflatables and hang them on tall poles. A yellow Ubertube placed with one of the inflatables doubles the score.  Minibots, that run up a separate pole, also help increase the score.

Kick Hunger Food Drive: Kettering student Hayley Schuller of Sterling Heights is again leading the volunteer effort for the Kettering Kickoff Kick Hunger Campaign – a food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Teams and their fans will bring book bags full of canned goods and boxed food that Schuller will weigh. A Kick Hunger Award will be presented to the team that provides the most food for the Food Bank. Separately, the faculty, staff and students of Kettering University are also contributing canned goods to the food drive as part of Hunger Action Month activities for September.

During the Kettering Kickoff, a variety of automobiles will be on display, including a Chevy Volt! Chevrolet, Buick and GMC products from Patsy Lou Williamson Dealership in Flint and Al Serra dealership of Flint will also provide Cadillac products for visitors to see and enjoy.

Teams competing on Sept. 17 at Kettering are:
Team 27, Team RUSH, Clarkston
Team 33, Killer Bees, Auburn Hills
Team 51, Wings of Fire, Pontiac
Team 68, Truck Town Thunder, Ortonville
Team 70, More Martians, Goodrich
Team 217, ThunderChickens, Sterling Heights
Team 226, Hammerheads, Troy
Team 247, Da Bears, Berkley
Team 302, The Dragons, Lake Orion
Team 314, Megatron Oracles, Flint
Team 322, F.I.R.E., Flint
Team 326, Extreme Eagles, Romulus
Team 468, Aftershock, Flint
Team 494, Martians, Goodrich
Team 503, Frog Force, Novi
Team 548, Robostangs, Northville
Team 703, Team Phoenix, Saginaw
Team 815, Advanced Power, Allen Park
Team 862, Lightning Robotics, Canton
Team 910, Foley Freeze, Madison Heights
Team 1075, Sinclair Sprockets, Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Team 1188, OakTown Crewz, Royal Oak
Team 1189, Gearheads, Grosse Pointe
Team 1243, Dragons, Swartz Creek
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons, Fenton
Team 1506, Metal Muscle, Flint
Team 1684, The Chimeras, Lapeer
Team 1701, Robocubs, Detroit
Team 2137, TORC - The Oxford RoboCats, Oxford
Team 2145, HAZMATs, Lake Fenton
Team 2337, EngiNERDS, Grand Blanc
Team 2604, Metal & Soul, Capac
Team 2619, The Charge, Midland
Team 2832, The Livonia Warriors, Livonia
Team 2960, Automation Nation, Birmingham
Team 3096, Finney Highlanders, Detroit
Team 3450, Random Nuts, Flint
Team 3534, Team Gizmo, Davison
Team 3667, PoHo Robos, Port Huron
Team 3770, BlitzCreek, Midland

FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology.  FIRST robotics pits teams in a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers and teachers.

Almost one-third of Michigan high schools now have a FIRST robotics team as a varsity sport.

Each year, the Kettering Kickoff helps high school teams "kick off" the start of their competition season by using the game, rules and robots of the previous year’s national competition. “The Kettering Kickoff was founded in 2000,” Nichols explained, “to give participants who are new to the sport an opportunity to build camaraderie with their new teammates and to work on developing their skills in a competitive environment.”

For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit: and to see websites of the registered teams competing in the Kettering Kickoff, visit:

Written by Patricia Mroczek