Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200
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PHS Digital Devils Make Their Mark At FIRST Robotics Competition

The Plainville High School Robotics Team 5129 won two rookie awards and placed 24th out of 32 teams at the Southington Regional FIRST Robotics Competition, which took place last weekend at Southington High School. It was the first time the recently formed team had participated in this competition.

Team 5129, also known as the Digital Devils, was formed in September of 2013 so that high school students interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) could compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

For the FRC competition, each team was given six-weeks, a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules to build an autonomous and tele-operated robot to compete in the regional competition's Aerial Assist, a fast-paced and rigorous multi-robot game. In the Aerial Assist competition game, two competing alliances with three robots each played on a flat 25 by 54 foot game field. A truss, suspended just over five feet above the field, straddled the middle of the field. The object of the game was for each alliance to score as many goals as possible during the two and a half minute match. Alliances also earned bonus points by throwing their ball over the truss and coordinating a catch on the other side of the field. Team 5129 built its robot, which stood nearly 5 feet tall and weighed almost 120 pounds, to play defense against other robots. Their robot had a unique ability to raise an automated arm and block opponents trying to score a goal. This was successfully performed during competition.

Although they didn't make the finals, Team 5129 won two coveted awards " the Highest Rookie Seed Award, which is given to the rookie team who is ranked the highest among all first-year teams at the end of the qualifying matches. They also won the Rookie Inspiration Award, which celebrates a rookie team's outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers within their schools and in their community.

The Digital Devils will be competing March 29-30 at Hartford Public High School, for another chance to advance to Boston's district event. Winning district teams advance to the World Championships, which will take place in St. Louis April 23 through April 26 at the Edward Jones Dome.

All FIRST events are free and open to the public. Additional information about the FIRST organization and the upcoming championships can be found at http://www3.usfirst.org/.

-Posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM


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