Logo Motion coming!

Feb 24, 2011

The Kettering University FIRST Robotics District competition is March 4-5 in the Rec Center. Forty high school teams will compete, hoping to qualify for the 2011 national championship games.

The three famous parts of the FIRST Robotics logo – a triangle, circle and square, will add colorful elements to the 2011 Kettering University FIRST Robotics District competition coming to Flint on March 4-5.  Forty high school teams from around Michigan will compete in the hopes of qualifying for FIRST state and national championships in April.  All events are in Kettering’s Recreation Center.

“It’s fitting that the 20th anniversary of FIRST uses the imagery that helped this important organization get started – the triangle, circle and square,” said Bob Nichols, Kettering’s director of External Affairs and the founder of the Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics competition.  “FIRST has gone from one event to 60 and 28 teams to 2,000 in its two decades.  Gracious Professionalism and having fun are still the centerpieces of our FIRST organization,” he said.

Kettering’s district competition runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, March 4, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 5.  The event is free and open to the public.  About 1,000 people are expected Friday and about 1,500 on Saturday.

Pat Major of Goodrich, long-time FIRST coach and mentor, is again chairing the organizing committee.  Among the features at this year’s games will be a display of several new General Motors and Ford vehicles, furnished by Patsy Lou Williamson and Lasco Ford.  Al Serra's dealership in Flint will bring several Cadillacs for display.  A Chevy Volt will also be available on display.

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. The event is a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students, with teachers and engineers as mentors.

This year’s game is called LOGO MOTION and is played by two competing alliances on a flat 27’ x 54’ foot field. Each alliance consists of three robots. Take a look at this year’s game in this three-minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OE5_snXNbdk&feature=related

The goal for each competing robot is to hang as many inflated plastic shapes of the FIRST logo, triangles, circles and squares, on grids during a two-minute and 15 second match.  The match begins with one 15-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs and must hang Ubertubes to score extra points.

Teams competing in the Kettering district are:
Team 1, Juggernauts from Pontiac
Team 27, Team Rush from Clarkston
Team 33, Killer Bees from Auburn Hills
Team 49, Robotic Knights from Buena Vista
Team 51, Wings of Fire from Pontiac
Team 67, Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) from Milford
Team 70, More Martians from Goodrich
Team 302, The Dragons from Lake Orion
Team 314, Big Mo from Flint’s Carman-Ainsworth High School
Team 322, FIRE from Flint Community Schools
Team 326, Team Super Power … Eagles from Romulus
Team 468, Aftershock from Flint/Flushing
Team 470, Alpha Omega Robotics from Ypsilanti
Team 494, Martians from Goodrich
Team 703, Phoenix from Saginaw
Team 894, Chargers from Flint Power Catholic High School
Team 1188, OakTown Crewz from Royal Oak
Team 1243, Dragons from Swartz Creek
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons from Fenton
Team 1504, Desperate Penguins from Okemos
Team 1506, Metal Muscle from Genesee and Oakland counties and Kettering University
Team 1684, Chimeras from Lapeer
Team 1701, RoboCubs from Detroit
Team 2137, Robocats from Oxford
Team 2337, Enginerds from Grand Blanc
Team 2604, Metal & Soul from Capac
Team 2834, Bionic Barons from Bloomfield Hills
Team 3322, Eagle Imperium from Ann Arbor
Team 3398, Crush ‘N Crusaders from Detroit
Team 3415, Rams from Montrose
Team 3421, Tachyon Techs from Marysville
Team 3450, Random Nuts from Flint
Team 3534, Gizmo from Davison
Team 3535, Galak Tech from Attica
Team 3536, Electro Eagles from Howell
Team 3568, RoboEagles from Linden
Team 3602, WebberBots from Webberville
Team 3667, PoHo RoBos from Port Huron
Team 3708, Lumberjacks from Saginaw
Team 3770, BlitzCreek from Midland

The Kettering University FIRST Robotics District is one of nine district events in the state.  Michigan will also have a state championship contest in Ypsilanti April 7-9.  The 2011 FIRST Championship will be in St. Louis, Mo., April 28-30.  For more on FIRST's program in Michigan, visit www.firstinmichigan.org

“FIRST is very much like a NASCAR event,” Nichols said.  “Students work in their pits between competitive matches just like NASCAR, constantly trying to improve the performance of the robot.  Students quickly become great problem solvers.  They are forced to be creative and quick, and that’s part of the fun,” he concluded.

Written by Patricia Mroczek