FIRST Robotics

Feb 27, 2009

"Lunacy" will break out in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center during the Kettering University FIRST Robotics District Competition March 6-7.

“Lunacy” comes to Kettering University March 6-7!

The Kettering University FIRST Robotics District Competition will be full of “Lunacy” March 6-7 in Flint, Mich.

“We’re so excited that 40 FIRST robotics teams from high schools around the state will be coming to Kettering,” said Bob Nichols, director of external relations at Kettering and co-chair of the district competition.  “This year’s game is called ‘Lunacy’ because it forces teams to contend with the laws of physics. 

“What’s different this year is the floor surface,” Nichols explained.  “This game isn’t on the traditional carpeted playing field.  The floor is a low-friction surface, which will increase speed and level of difficulty.  This game will be a good challenge even for Michigan’s most experienced FIRST teams.”   

This year’s robots will pick up nine-inch balls and score them in trailers hitched to their opponents' robots.  Matches are two minutes and 15 seconds.  Additional points are awarded for scoring a special game ball, the Super Cell, in the opponents' trailers during the last 20 seconds of the match.

Teams competing at the Kettering district contest are:

Team 1, Pontiac

Team 27, Clarkston

Team 33, Auburn Hills

Team 49, Saginaw

Team 65, Pontiac

Team 66, Ypsilanti

Team 68, Pontiac

Team 70, Goodrich

Team 107, Holland

Team 245, Rochester Hills

Team 302, LakeOrion

Team 314, Flint

Team 322, Flint

Team 397, Flint

Team 468, Flint

Team 470, Ypsilanti

Team 494, Goodrich

Team 548, Northville

Team 818, Warren

Team 830, Ann Arbor

Team 862, Canton

Team 894, Flint

Team 910, Madison Heights

Team 1025, Ferndale

Team 1189, Grosse Pointe

Team 1243, Swartz Creek

Team 1322, Fenton

Team 1504, Okemos

Team 1506, North Oakland County

Team 1684, Lapeer

Team 1718, Armada

Team 1783, West Branch

Team 2145, LakeFenton

Team 2163, Lapeer

Team 2337, Grand Blanc

Team 2586, Calumet

Team 2619, Midland

Team 2627, Ann Arbor

Team 2771, Grandville

Team 3060, Birmingham

For details on this list, visit:

Kettering’s event will be in the Connie and Jim John Recreation Center, and it is free and open to the public. Nichols co-chairs the event with Pat Major of Goodrich.  Friday’s schedule includes inspections and practices in the morning and seeding matches until 9 p.m.  Saturday’s events begin by 8 a.m., followed by seeding matches and final rounds in the afternoon.  The awards ceremony is approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The Kettering University FIRST Robotics District is one of seven district events in Michigan.  Michigan will also have a state championship contest in Ypsilanti. 

Nichols said that the FIRST in Michigan district competition is a model for the nation and is based, in part, on the success of the low-cost Rookie Regional hosted last year at Kettering University.

Additionally, there will be 40 regional competitions in the U.S., Canada and Israel, which will lead to the 2009 FIRST Championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, April 16-18.

FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is now in its 18th season and 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 and sponsoring engineers.

More than 42,000 high-school students on 1,686 teams from the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Israel, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Turkey, and the U.K. will participate in 2009.  More than $9 million in scholarships funds are now available for FIRST participants.

“And Kettering University is proud to partner with WWJ Radio on the FIRST Teacher of the Year award,” Nichols added.  “The announcement honoring a dedicated FIRST teacher, mentor and leader will be made this spring.”

For more on the Kettering University FIRST Robotics District Competition, visit:

Written by Patricia Mroczek