Sixty-four high school robotics teams from six states were in Hartford this weekend to take their problem-solving and teamwork to a new level. During the competition, teams played FIRST’s 2012 “Rebound Rumble” game, where robots faced off three-on-three to shoot baskets at the ends of an eight-hoop field during a series of two-minute, 15-second matches.
Suffield/Windsor Locks team, 'Aces High' made it all the way to the quarterfinals.
During Thursday's practice matchups, the team was feeling hopeful. "We feel really good," said team mentor Bill Pease.
The team planned to refine a couple of things in order to make more baskets. Rebecca Webster, one of the robots' drivers, said that "it was a good start."
As competition progressed, Aces High performed well in all 10 of their qualifying matches, finishing 13th out of 64 teams.
"Because we helped balance the 'Coopertition Bridge' with our opponents in nine out of 10 of our matches we won the Coopertition Award," said Pease. "Essentially we helped 45 teams improve their qualifying ranking by cooperating with our opponents to balance the center bridge." The Coopertition Bridge is located in the center of the playing field. Points are earned on the bridge by cooperating with another team to balance two robots on it simultaneously.
After qualifying, Aces High was picked by Team Force from Hollis Brookline School and The Grasshoppers from Lebanon HS (both in New Hampshire) to compete in the quarter finals where they won one match but lost two to the eventual Regional champions.
Twenty-four hundred high school students in total from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Texas duked it out to show who had the most ingenious robot design.
Other local teams included the 'Granby Grunts' from Granby Memorial High School, the 'Enforcers' from Farmington, the 'Uberbots' from Avon and 'Buzz Robotics' from Enfield.
In the end, the ‘Cyber Knights’ of Southington Took the top honors.
The competition has been held for the past eighteen years in Hartford.
The winners of the regional will advance to the FIRST International Championship in St. Louis, MO, from April 25-28.
1st - Southington
2nd – Hartford
3rd – Clifton Park, NY
Southington also was awarded the Engineering Excellence Award.
South Windsor was awarded the Industrial Design Award and Berlin received the Team Spirit Award.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the accurate ranking of the teams in the competition.