LSSU hosts annual robotics competition this week

What's happening: Lake Superior State University's annual FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition will be held March 14 through March 16 in Sault Ste. Marie.

What's the competition: Forty teams of teenagers from Michigan high schools will compete in the competition. Teams have been challenged to build industrial-sized robots to compete with other teams in a complicated game. They must also fundraise to support their projects and design a team brand. The theme of this year’s competition is Crescendo. Two groups of three teams each will use the robots they’ve designed and built to put cubes and cones into a mixer to amplify their music output. The groups will earn additional points if their robots balance or compress their audio channels. 

What is FIRST: Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST® is a global nonprofit organization that prepares young people for their future through a suite of inclusive, team-based robotics programs for pre-K through 12th grade.

Background: In 1985, LSSU became the first in the United States to offer a Bachelor of Science degree program in robotics engineering technology. LSSU’s College of Innovation and Solutions now offers a Bachelor of Science degree in robotics engineering and a concentration in robotics in Bachelor of Science degree programs in mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. 

What's next: A variety of prizes are awarded in several categories. But the biggest prize, says Jim Devaprasad, director of LSSU robotics, is the opportunity to go on to compete at regional and state competitions and ultimately to be eligible to compete at the world FIRST Robotics competition in Houston, Texas, in April. 

Information: Lake Superior State University.
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