Source: Sherman Publications

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FIRST Robotics on to World Competition

by Samantha Shelley

April 20, 2011

While many students were relaxing on spring break, the members of the Goodrich High School robotics teams were representing the Martians at the statewide FIRST Robotics competition at Eastern Michigan University on April 7, 8, and 9.

The two teams, "494 Martians" and "70 More Martians," held their ground at the state meet, which consisted of 64 teams from across the state competing to have the chance to move on to the next level. Team 70 finished in the first place alliance while 494 was disqualified in an earlier round.

FIRST Robotic teams in the state are required to create a robot that is capable of doing a certain function each season, and this year the the robots needed to be able to manipulate plastic tubes into different shapes and designs.

The teams started building their robots in early January and are only given six weeks to complete the process. Both team 494 and 70 helped each other in building their robots.

"Our robots are usually very similair before the first meet, but they get tweaked and fixed at the meets, which can make them perform at different levels," said Leah Peraino, a member of team 494.

"Team 70 was one of the teams in the winning alliance, along with Notre Dame Acadamy in Auburn Hills and Team 67 from Highland," said Pat Major, the coach for both robotics teams at Goodrich.

Both teams will be going to the next level, which is the World Competition, held in St. Louis, Mo. April 27-30.

This meet consists of 400 teams from all over the world competing for the biggest title in the FIRST Robotics world.

Team 70 qualified for worlds by being a part of the winning allliance at states and team 494 is one of the top 18 of 170 teams from around Michigan that will compete in St. Louis. Team 494 took first at the worlds competition in 2004.