VIDEO: Fifth Annual Robotics Challenge Packs St. Denis Centre
Teenagers from across Windsor-Essex took over the University of Windsor's St. Denis Centre with their mechanized creations for the fifth annual FIRST Robotics Challenge Saturday.
More than 37 teams consisting of high school students went head-to-head in autonomous and remote controlled skills competitions in front of a packed house — vying for a spot at the FIRST Championship.
Judge Paolo Piunno tells AM800 News the event keeps growing every year.
"We have an amazing turn-out this year, we have so many people spectating and participating, 37-teams in all out here from different high schools throughout the region," he says. "It's an international event, unlike many others in Canada, we're seeing teams from the US coming across the border, I believe we have four teams from Michigan."
While many adults still have difficulty resetting the time on their car stereo, Piunno says these kids are performing next level tasks with ease.
"This is industry level programming; they're using autonomous systems, metering, telemetry data, to have these robots perform," says Piunno. "The first 30-seconds of the event are autonomous, and then it goes into a manually operated segment of the event. It's truly fantastic to see coming from high school level kids."
He says the toughest part is the timeline.
"They're doing this in an extremely short time frame, only six-weeks to prepare the robots and two-days at the event to prove that they've mastered the technology that they need to and the principles that they need to complete the competition," he says.
This year's winners are Windsor's Build a Dream Robotics, Sabre Bytes Robotics, and the Killer Bees from Auburn Hills Mich.
WEtech Alliance, St. Clair College, and UWindsor partnered up to host this year's competition.