CEDAR RAPIDS — Four Northeast Iowa robotics teams are preparing to compete again after top finishes last month at the FIRST Tech Challenge state championship.
Cybots Team 5975 of Denver, Robota White Team 8749 of La Porte City, CrossFire Team 9968 of Cedar Falls and Wave Droids Team 13206 of Waverly will be competing Thursday through Saturday during the North Super Regional championship at the DoubleTree Hotel and US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. Each of the teams are associated with a local school.
They are among 13 Iowa teams advancing to the competition, which will include a total of 72 from 11 states. Winners at this event will advance to the Detroit World Championship at the end of April. FIRST — or For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — is an international organization that sponsors a number of robotics programs.
WAVERLY — The Wave Droids have been spreading the word about robotics.
FIRST Tech Challenge teams build robots on an 18-inch square base and compete on a 12-foot by 12-foot field. This year’s game is called “Relic Recovery.” Teams operate the robots, which gather and place objects like foam cubes and plastic balls to score points during 2-1/2-minute matches.
Those advancing to the super regional level have already been part of winning alliances with other teams or won awards for their engineering notebook and presentation during a series of earlier competitions. Scores earned in initial qualification matches determine top teams, which each choose two alliance partners. That can allow teams that don’t do as well in the qualification matches to advance.
Robota White, for example, has been part of winning alliances at all prior levels, according to Union Community Schools’ robotics team administrator Wendy Scheel. Another team from the district, Robota Red, won an award at the 24-team league championship hosted by Union High School in January. But the team was eliminated at the super qualifier level in February.
At the state competition, Scheel said Robota White was the number one alliance pick of a top team. That alliance finished in second place.
More information about the North Super Regional event and the teams participating can be found online at ftcnorth.org.