LIVINGSTON COUNTY — Five teams from Livingston County competed in the FIRST Robotics World Championship on April 19-22 in Houston, Texas.
According to a release from FIRST Robotics, the competition — for ages 14-18 — combines sports excitement with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, students are challenged to fundraise, design a team identity, exercise teamwork, and build and program robots to compete in an exciting game that includes autonomous and driver-operated periods.
Teams compete with two other teams against three other teams. It’s never 1-1, but always six teams on the field.
“Sometimes you have a great alliance pairing and you just ride the wave and other times you have robots that are all working bots and they just get stopped. It’s frustrating sometimes, but it’s just a facet of the game,” said Hartland High School FIRST Robotics Coach Ed Wynne.
According to Wynne, the points collected throughout their season determine whether teams can compete at the state tournament. If they earn enough points during that tournament, they can qualify for the world championship.
Wynne said there are over 600 teams registered in the state, but Hartland only competed against just over 450.
“Sometimes some teams don’t get a robot finished. Other times they have staffing issues,” he said.
District tournaments see anywhere from 35-50 teams compete, he said. The top 160 go to states. The top 82 compete in worlds.
“Robotics in Michigan is huge. We’re bigger than most other states combined,” Wynne said. “Its really taken off.”
Here’s how local teams ranked going into worlds:
- Team 4362 CSPA Gems from Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy in Brighton collected 281 district points and ranked 20
- Team 3668 TroBots from Whitmore Lake High School collected 278 district points and ranked 22
- Team 3536 Electro Eagles from Hartland High School collected 201 district points and ranked 47
- Team 4776 S.C.O.T.S Bots from Howell High School collected 176 district points and ranked 59
- Team 7220 Steel Falcons from Livingston Christian School in Brighton collected 164 district points and ranked 69
But all teams start with a score of zero at worlds. During the four-day event, 619 teams competed in eight divisions. According to Wynne, each division included 77 to 78 teams. Here’s how local teams ranked afterward:
- Steel Falcons ranked ninth out of 78 teams
- Electro Eagles ranked 29 out of 77 teams
- TroBots ranked 29 out of 77 teams
- CSPA Gems ranked 35 out of 77 teams
- S.C.O.T.S Bots ranked 60 out of 78 teams
For more information about the teams, visit thebluealliance.com
— Contact reporter Patricia Alvord at email@example.com.