Local high school robotics team battles to World Championship

ARCADIA, Wis. (WKBT) - Trempealeau County Robotics (TC Robotics) took first place at their first-ever regional tournament, FIRST Robotics Northern Lights Regional in Duluth, Minnesota.

TC Robotics competed against nearly 60 teams, were awarded the Highest Rookie Seed Award, the Rookie All-Star Award and earned them an invitation to the World Championship Tournament in Detroit next month.

Ashley Furniture Industries provided the team with practice space, hosting practices in their facility and financial support.

FIRST Robotics is volunteer driven and designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities and become leaders in science, technology, engineering and math, according to a news release.

At each competition, teams play in matches. Each match is between two alliances, comprised of three different FIRST Robotics Competition teams and their robots. Within the alliance, the three robots work together to compete against the opposing alliance. In early qualification matches, alliances are randomly assigned. After two days of qualifying rounds, TC Robotics was ranked the second team, qualifying them to move onto playoffs. From there, three-team alliances are formed based on rankings, with the top teams able to recruit teams to form their alliance. TC Robotics was recruited by the number one rank team from Pewaukee, Wisconsin, to form their champion alliance, along with a team from Saint Paul.

This year’s competition requires teams to build a robot that can transport and lift large cubes around the playing field and onto obstacles. Robots must also have the ability to navigate the playing field without a controller and climb a platform.

“There is so much you can learn from this program,” said freshman team member Ryan Hessler of Blair. “I have gained real-world experience such as building, machining and programing skills.”

The team will also compete at Seven Rivers Regional tournament in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in April.

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