Robotics teams to vie for Region crown

Originally published by myCentralJersey.com – A Gannett Company – on April 13, 2012. While the link lasts, you can see the article on their site.

Robotics teams to vie for Region crown
Teams vie for Mid-Atlantic Region championship
– by Staff Writer

2011 New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition

(#108432) Trenton, NJ 3/4/11 Teams compete during the 2011 New Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition at the Sun National Bank Center Friday March 4. Staff photo Tanya Breen

PHILADELPHIA — From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m today and Saturday, 13 Central Jersey FIRST Robotics Competition teams will compete in a 54-team event at the Mid-Atlantic Robotics Region Championship at the Liacouras Center, Temple University, in Philadelpia. The competition, “Rebound Rumble,” is open to the public and admission is free.

From this two-day competition, 12 teams will move forward to compete at the FIRST World Championships to be held April 26 to 29 in St. Louis.

The area robotics teams participating include Bound Brook High School, Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Hightstown High School, Hillsborough High School, Hunterdon Central Regional High School, Immaculata High School in Somerville, JFK Memorial in the Iselin section of Woodbridge, Middlesex High School, Montgomery High School, North Brunswick High School, Piscataway High School, St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North and West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South.

“Rebound Rumble” is the FIRST version of basketball and its own “March Madness.” An alliance of three robots will compete against three other robots to pick up mini basketballs and shoot them into hoops at each end of the playing field to score points. Each end of the field has four baskets at different heights for the robots to shoot at and score — with points varying according to each basket’s height. At the end of the match teams can score additional points by balancing one or more robots on one of three “seesaw” bridges at the center of the playing field. Opposing teams can cooperate to balance one robot from each alliance on the center bridge for valuable extra points.

All 13 area teams earned their way to the Mid-Atlantic Region Championship by scoring qualifying points at two of five competitions held in March. Several of these teams distinguished themselves at those events. Most recently, the Hillsborough High School team won the highest honor, Chairman’s Award, at the Mount Olive High School competition. Also at that competition, the robotics team from North Brunswick was crowned champion, as it led its three-team alliance to the winner’s circle. The Montgomery High School team finished in second place as a member of a three-team alliance and won a Quality Award, while West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South won the Team Spirit Award. Immaculata High School was honored with a Judges’ Award.

Other teams that won honors at one of the five district events include Bound Brook High School, a member of the winning alliance at the competition at Rutgers University.

For more information on FIRST Robotics competitions, go to www.usfirst.org or www.midatlanticrobotics.com.

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