Robotics tournament results are in

ESCANABA — Escanaba High School was buzzing with activity this weekend as 39 robotics teams from across Michigan competed in the FIRST “For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology” Robotics District contest.

This is the fourth time the annual high school competition has been held in Escanaba.

The event promotes careers in engineering and technology with students creating robots while working one-on-one with professional engineers. The battery-powered robots weigh about 120 pounds and cannot exceed three feet in height.

Various contests took place during this year’s two-day event which featured a “steampunk” theme competition involving steam-powered robots.

A long list of awards were presented Saturday evening following Friday and Saturday’s contests, said Tim Barron, leader of the Gladstone team, the BraveBots.

“Our robots exceeded our expectations,” said Barron, adding that the weekend’s competition went very well for the Gladstone team.

The teams participating in this weekend’s contest will compete in one more district competition before points are tallied to determine which teams qualify for state competition.

District event winners this weekend were first place winners The Genesee Robotics Area Youth Team from Fenton, The Power Chargers of Flint, and D-Cubed of Grand Rapids.

District Event Finalists were second place winners The Bravebots of Gladstone, The Atombots of Rochester, and The Gladiators of Ontonagon.

The District Chairman’s Award, considered a top award in the district contest, went to The Titans of Traverse City.

The Great Lakers of Mackinac Island earned the District Engineering Inspiration Award.

The Power Chargers of Flint took home the Judges Award.

Several awards were presented through company sponsorships which help support the district competition.

The Safety Award, sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories, was presented to The Genesee Robotics Area Youth Team of Fenton.

The Industrial Design Award, sponsored by General Motors, was earned by The Instigators of Sault Ste. Marie.

The Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, was earned by The Atombots of Rochester.

The West End Gear Busters of Ishpeming took home the Team Spirit Award, sponsored by FCA Foundation.

The Excellence in Engineering Award was presented to The Raider Robotics of DeTour.

Three rookie awards were presented to teams new to the competition.

The Rookie Inspiration Award, sponsored by National Instruments, went to The Wolf Robotics of Carney which also received the Highest Rookie Seed Award.

The Rookie All Star Award was presented to The Aluminum Sting of L’Anse.

Following a district contest in Traverse City in three weeks, the state championship competition takes place April 12-15 at Saginaw Valley State University.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,