Kettering Kickoff is Sept. 21-22
Forty-two high school teams are competing at the 13th Annual Kettering Kickoff Robotics contest.
Robots will play spirited games of basketball at Kettering University during the 13th annual Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics Competition on Sept. 21-22 in Flint.
Forty-two of Michigan’s top high school robotics teams will vie for championship trophies at the two-day event in Kettering’s Recreation Center. The Kettering Kickoff is free and open to the public.
Teams begin arriving Friday afternoon for a variety of social activities and tours of Kettering’s state-of-the-art science and engineering facilities. Practice matches will begin mid-to-late afternoon. Tournament action for the 13th annual Kettering Kickoff is Saturday from 8 a.m. to around 6 p.m.
This year’s contest, called Rebound Rumble, features an action-packed game of basketball played by hand-built robots that are driven and controlled remotely by talented high school students. Rebound Rumble includes four basketball hoops and a series of bridges/ramps that the robots have to traverse to get within range for shooting colorful basketballs.
Kettering Kickoff Founder Bob Nichols said this year’s game has been among the most popular during the 20 years of FIRST Robotics contests. “How often do you get to see basketball played by robots, controlled by students and surrounded by cheering supporters?” Nichols asked, with a laugh. “Rebound Rumble doesn’t follow traditional basketball rules, but it’s fascinating to watch the robots shoot these basketballs. There is a lot of scoring, in part because the game features four nets per side.
“Teams can increase their score, based on where their robot shoots from,” he continued. “Then, in a timed contest, the robots have to team up to balance on three bridge/ramps. It’s one of the best designed FIRST games yet,” he added.
The Kettering Kickoff is a popular annual contest that matches the 2012 robots from FIRST Robotics with the 2013 high school teams. Nichols said the event allows teams to build skills and camaraderie before the highly competitive season begins in January. During the Kettering Kickoff, a variety of new and shiny automobiles will be on display from Patsy Lou Williamson, Applegate and Al Serra dealerships.
Returning as chair of the Kettering Kickoff Planning Committee is long-time supporter Pat Major of the Goodrich Martians and More Martians teams.
Teams competing on Sept. 22 at Kettering are:
Team 27, Team RUSH, Clarkston
Team 33, Killer Bees, Auburn Hills
Team 51, Wings of Fire, Pontiac
Team 68, Truck Town Thunder, Ortonville
Team 70, More Martians, Goodrich
Team 107, TEAM R.O.B.O.T.I.C.S, Holland
Team 226, Hammerheads, Troy
Team 302, The Dragons, Lake Orion
Team 314, Megatron Oracles, Flint
Team 468, Aftershock, Flushing
Team 494, Martians, Goodrich
Team 503, Frog Force, Novi
Team 548, Robostangs, Northville
Team 703, Team Phoenix, Saginaw
Team 862, Lightning Robotics, Canton
Team 910, Foley Freeze, Madison Heights
Team 1023, Bedford Express, Temperance
Team 1243, Dragons, Swartz Creek
Team 1322, G.R.A.Y.T. Leviathons, Fenton
Team 1506, Metal Muscle, Flint
Team 1684, Chimeras, Lapeer
Team 1701, Robocubs, Detroit
Team 2137, TORC - The Oxford RoboCats, Oxford
Team 2145, HAZMATs, Lake Fenton
Team 2337, EngiNERDS, Grand Blanc
Team 2604, Metal & Soul, Capac
Team 2612, Waterford Mott Destroyers, Waterford
Team 2619, The Charge, Midland
Team 2832, The Livonia Warriors, Livonia
Team 2834, Bionic Barons, Bloomfield Hills
Team 2960, Automation Nation, Birmingham
Team 3322, Egal Imperium, Ann Arbor
Team 3534, House of Cards, Davison
Team 3535, Galaktech Invaders, Lapeer
Team 3547, Virus, Monroe
Team 3767, Traverse City West Senior High, Traverse City
Team 3770, BlitzCreek, Midland
Team 4002, Rhombi Robotics, Royal Oak
Team 4044, Screamin’ Eagles, Capac
Team 4294, Star-TREC, Lansing
Team 4382, Trojans, Saginaw
Team 4390, ATA Coregears, Dearborn
FIRST -- For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology -- is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology. FIRST robotics pits teams in a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers and teachers.
Almost one-third of Michigan high schools now have a FIRST robotics team as a varsity sport. Michigan and California lead in the nation with the number of active teams in their states.
For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit: www.KetteringFIRST.com