Robotic teams storm the castles in FIRST Robotics Finger Lakes Regional March 25-26

Annual contest features local and regional high school competitors for 25th season of FIRST competitions




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A. Sue Weisler

More than 40 high school teams will meet for the FIRST Robotics Finger Lakes Regional on March 25-26 at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center.

Robotic teams are mobilizing for “Stronghold,” the 2016 FIRST Robotics competition. More than 40 high school teams will meet for the Finger Lakes Regional on March 25-26 at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center at Rochester Institute of Technology.

This year, there are hundreds of field configurations robots must maneuver through for Stronghold. Teams must defend their own “castle keep” while breaking down opponents’ defenses beyond a central field that consists of moveable drawbridges, barriers and levered entryways. Scores add up when lightweight boulders (the size and weight of volleyballs) are catapulted into castle towers, and when robots cross into opponents’ territory, eventually capturing a flag atop the tower.

Teams begin practice rounds at noon on Thursday, March 24, in the Field House. Competition begins on Friday, March 25, with opening ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. and first matches at 9 a.m., concluding the first day of matches at 5:45 p.m. Saturday’s competition takes place from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with awards being distributed at 5:30 p.m. The full schedule of events is:

  • 8:30 a.m. Friday, March 25 (Opening Ceremony)
    • Dr. Bill Destler, RIT President
    • Lydia Hays, RIT computer engineering student and FIRST Robotics Regional Volunteer
    • New York State Senator Rich Funke (R-55th Senate District)
    • FIRST Robotics representative
    • 9 a.m.–noon and 1–5:45 p.m. Qualifying Matches
  • 5:45 p.m. Friday March 25 (End of Day 1)
    • Mark Conlin, president, Xerox Foundation
      Erin Ferguson, RIT mechanical engineering student and FIRST Robotics Regional Volunteer
    • AWARDS: Regional Volunteer of the Year
  • 8:30 a.m. Saturday, March 26 (Day 2)
    • Cheryl Dinolfo, Monroe County Executive
    • Ron Zarrella, former Bausch & Lomb, CEO and national FIRST Robotics Executive Advisory Board member
    • Esther Betancourt, director of engineering, Harris Corp.
    • 9 a.m.–noon and 1–4:30 p.m. Qualifying and Final Matches
  • 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 26 (Closing Ceremony)
    • FIRST Robotics Regional Leaders
    • AWARDS
201603/firststudentsa.jpg

A. Sue Weisler

More than 40 high school teams will meet for the FIRST Robotics Finger Lakes Regional on March 25-26 at the Gordon Field House and Activities Center.