'Top Dogs' celebrated

Sep 25, 2006

A four-team alliance took home the highest honors at the 2006 Kettering Kickoff robotics contest.

High schools teams from Troy, Saginaw, Royal Oak and Muncie, Ind., combined strengths and won the "Top Dog" championship award at the 2006 Kettering Kickoff robotics competition Saturday, Sept. 23, in Flint.

The Hammerheads of Troy (Team 226), Team Phoenix (Team 703) of the Saginaw Career Complex, the Oaktown Crewz of Royal Oak (Team 1188), and PhyXTGears (Team 1720) of Muncie, Ind., were part of a four-team alliance that won the Seventh Annual Kettering Kickoff at Kettering University.



The competition showcases robots built by high school students and their engineering mentors. The Kettering Kickoff is affiliated with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology.

Second place honors went to an alliance of:
** Thunderchickens of Sterling Heights (Team 217),
** Robocats of Girard, Ohio, (Team 379), and
** Tech-No-Maniacs of Royal Oak (Team 1286).

Other awards handed out included the following.

Top Score of the Day: an alliance of the More Martians of Goodrich (Team 70), Team Phoenix of Saginaw (Team 703) and PhyXTGears (Team 1720) of Municie, Ind., came together for the top match score of the day of 106 for a single match.

#1 Seed: The #1 ranked team after qualifying matches went to the Tech-No-Maniacs of Royal Oak (Team 1286).

Robot Design Excellence Award: The highest design awardwent to More Martians of Goodrich(Team 70) for excellence in aesthetics, performance, reliability, efficiency and innovation.

Spirit of FIRST Award: The award for team spirit, collaboration, gracious professionalism, teamwork and being ambassadors of FIRST went to the Robocats of Girard, Ohio, (Team 379).

Safety Award: The award that celebrates a team's ability to progress beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to protect hazards was presented to Oaktown Crewz of Royal Oak (Team 1188).

Long Shot Award: The award that celebrates the team that travels the greatest distance to participate in the Kettering Kickoff went to the Shock-A-Bots of Rochester, N.Y., (Team 1567). They traveled more than 350 miles.

In all, 31 teams from four states participated in the robotics contest. Hosts of this year's event were: More Martians from Goodrich/Kettering (Team 70), Big Mo from Carman-Ainsworth HS of Flint (Team 314), F.I.R.E. from Flint Community Schools (Team 322), Knight Riders from Flint Southwestern and Bendle High Schools in Flint (Team 397), Baker Explorers from Flint (Team 468), Goodrich Martians from Goodrich (Team 494), G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons from Fenton (Team 1322), Metal Muscle from Kettering (Team 1506).

This year's sponsors were Fernco Inc. and Kettering University.

The annual Kettering Kickoff serves as an organizing event to "kick off" the start of the new FIRST competition season. It uses the current game, rules and robots from the FIRST national competition to provide an opportunity for new team members to build collaboration, skills and teamwork for the next year's competition. The event is hosted each September.

For more information on the annual Kettering Kickoff, contact Sally Hicks at Kettering University at (810) 762-9760.

Written by PatMroczek
(810) 762-9533