CENTERBURG — Centerburg’s robotics team, the Red Plague, will be going to the international championship meet in St. Louis thanks to the JCPenney distribution center in Reynoldsburg. The team won the Buckeye Regional last year and earned a spot in the championship, but didn’t have the funds to attend.
The associates at the JC- Penney facility hosted the team for a lunch time pep rally, and presented the Red Plague with a check to be used for the trip to the championship April 27-30.
Team advisor Janine Hebenthal said about 200 employees attended the rally, which included pep band music by Red Plague band members as well as presentations about the robot and its construction.
Students in the various team subgroups — Drive Train, Marketing, Programming, Game Components, Animation, Electronics, Mini-Bot — talked about their work, and the JCPenney associates were treated to video clips of the robot hanging a tube and an animation sequence submitted for the competition.
Hebenthal said, “The main challenge this year is to pick up inflatables in the FIRST logo shapes of a circle, triangle, and square and place them onto pegs at various heights at the ends of the playing fields. As always, you play with two other alliance teams, so there are always six robots on the field during a match. They get points for how many tubes they place, and extra points for placing them in the pattern of the FIRST logo. You also get more points for placing them on the higher pegs and less for the lower tiers. There is also an additional challenge of launching a mini robot the last 10 seconds to climb up a pole.”