CENTERBURG — Centerburg’s FIRST robotics team has spent an intense six weeks designing and building a robot for the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Buckeye Regional competition scheduled for April 7 to 9 at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland. The robot had to be completed and crated by Feb. 22, so the team recently showed off their efforts at an open house.
There were demonstrations of this year’s robot, student-led tours of the facilities, and a chance for community members to meet the team.
“This was our opportunity to thank the community and our loyal sponsors for their support, and to give families and community members a chance to see what it is that we do,” said business and marketing mentor Janine Hebenthal.
About six weeks ago, the team received this year’s challenge and a kit of parts made up of motors, batteries, a control system, a computer and a mix of automation components — but no instructions. Working with professional engineering mentors, the team built a robot that can maneuver a field flanked by poles and earn points by hanging as many triangle, circle and square logo pieces on each pole as possible.
The Centerburg team competed in the finals in the 2009 Buckeye Regional competition, and was the winner of the Buckeye Regional finals in the 2010 competition. That qualified the team for international competition, but due to financial concerns, the team did not go. Corporate support has been invaluable in making this year’s robot possible.
“We are thrilled that this year we are being sponsored by JCPenney,” said Hebenthal. “They are national sponsors of FIRST Robotics, and the distribution plant in Reynoldsberg adopted our team this year. ”
Tony Hines is the Facility Director at the JCPenney Logistics Center located in Columbus.