FIRST Robotics regional event takes place March 1 and 2 at RIT Field House

Student teams and robots toss Frisbees for points in Ultimate Ascent competition

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A. Sue Weisler

Frisbees launched by robots will make their Ultimate Ascent at the 2013 FIRST Robotics competition.

This year, 50 teams from the Northeast and Canada will compete in Ultimate Ascent, the name of this year’s game at the 2013 Finger Lakes Regional FIRST Robotics competition. It will be held at the Gordon Field House on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology, Friday, March 1, and Saturday, March 2.

Over the past six weeks, teams have built robots that will have to score points launching red, white and blue frisbees into multi-tiered goals on the game field during two-minute matches. Bonus points will be awarded to robots that climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field—the higher the robot climbs, the more points received.

Feb. 27 - Teams unload-only robots at 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

Feb. 28 - Registration and practice rounds from 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

March 1 - Opening Remarks, 8:30–9 a.m.

FIRST competition preliminary rounds, 9:00 a.m.–5:45 p.m.

Awards, 5:45–6:30 p.m.

March 2 - Opening Remarks, 8:30–9 a.m.

FIRST seeded matches and final rounds, 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Awards, 4:45–5:30 p.m.

The regional competition is free and open to the public March 1 and 2.

“The Finger Lakes Regional has a reputation for being one of the best regionals with top-notch competition,” says Glen Pearson, regional director. “With 50 teams registered, we anticipate another exciting, high-energy event.”

Last year, the Finger Lakes Region was represented at the national competition by 11 schools including area teams Webster, Churchville-Chili, Ithaca, Newfane, Lockport and Oneonta high schools.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international sporting event and technology competition. More than 2,300 teams of high school students will compete in the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition. Regional and district events are held in the U.S., Canada and Israel. Winners from regional competitions will participate in the FIRST Championship event April 24–27 in St. Louis.

A complete event schedule and information about the new competition challenge can be found at and