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12-14-2012

FIRST Championship Robotics Tournament Winners at Clarkson University

The sixth annual FIRST Championship Robotics Tournament was held recently at Clarkson University. The event drew high school students from as far away as Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and western New York. The 27 teams filled the Student Center for the highly competitive event. Team RoboSpartans from New Hartford, N.Y., captured the coveted Inspire Award and is eligible to compete in the World FIRST Championship Tournament in April 2013.

This year’s game, “Ring It Up,” required students to design, build and program a robot that could place rings on a stand at three levels similar to tic-tac-toe. After several individual rounds, top-scoring teams formed four alliances of three teams each. These alliances used their combined robotic power, maneuverability and strategic programming to determine the semi-final challenge alliances. These challengers competed for the ultimate competition honors.

The 2012 Winning Alliance was captained by RoboGamers from New York City and included Robotux from Holmdel, N.J., and Kilabots from Williamson, N.Y. The runner-up Finalist Alliance consisted of Say What? from  Edison, N.J., Wiggidy Wack Electronix Pack from Northwest Technical Center in Ogdensburg, N.Y., and the Harley Wolves from Rochester, N.Y..

Teams were also presented with awards for excellence in specific aspects of contest. The following are the awards and respective winners:

The Rockwell-Collins Innovate Award for ingenuity and inventiveness in the robot design was won by Say Watt? Robotics from Edison, N.J. This is the second year that Say Watt? has won this prestigious award.

The PTC Design Award, which challenges teams to incorporate industrial design principles into their robots, was awarded to Team Ampere from Upper Dublin High School in Fort Washington, Pa.

The Motivate Award, celebrating a team’s spirit and enthusiasm, was won by the Robogamers Robotics Club of New York City.

The Connect Award, which recognizes a team’s ability to connect with its local community and the engineering community, was earned by Robo Mustangs from Putnam Science Academy in Putnam, Conn. The Robo Mustangs also won this award at the 2011 tournament.

The Think Award, reflecting the team’s experiences with the engineering design process, was awarded to the Wyverns from the Kingswood Oxford School in West Hartford, Conn.

The tournament was hosted by Clarkson University and the Northern New York Robotics Academy, a local higher education consortium, directed by Clarkson Professor James Carroll.

It was sponsored by the “Connect a Million Minds” initiative of Time Warner Cable, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES, the Champlain Valley Transportation Museum, the U.S. Air Force, National Grid, and the New York Power Authority and Clarkson University. Clarkson’s Office of Educational Partnerships and Office of Marketing & External Affairs provided coordination and logistical support for the tournament.

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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