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RoboBots Battle at Lakeland Community College showcases students’ creativity

Tawana Roberts | The News-Herald

In a double-elimination style tournament, numerous area teams competed in the 2018 AWT RoboBots Battle at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland.

Alliance for Working Together Foundation Executive Director Alice Cable said there were 20 high school teams and 27 middle school “junior bots” teams that competed in this 8th annual event.

First-timer Cullan Jackson, who is an eighth- grader at Riverside John R. Williams, said that it was fun yet a little nerve-racking.

His teammate Ethan McCoy agreed and was pleased that their team won one of the battles.

As a second-year contender, Ethan also recognized what areas required improvement and how they’ve grown since last year.

“This is a really nice program — it really makes you think,” he said. “We’ve had good instructors and sponsors and learned a lot.”

Both Cullan and Ethan plan to return next year.

The judges, some of whom previously competed in RoboBots Battle, based their decisions on the aggression, control and damage of the bots, Cable said.

Cleveland Heights Team Black was this year’s first place winner, Cleveland Heights Team Gold earned second place and Beaumont High School finished in third, according to AWT Board Chairman Roger Sustar.

In addition to first, second and third place awards, prizes were also given for the best documentation, best engineering, best team presentation, sportsmanship and the coolest bot.

“One of our judges said that the caliber of the documentation and presentation was better than some professionals in the field,” Cable said. “The point isn’t really today, but the work that they’ve done over the last few months. We’re having a documentary made about the entire process and we’re really excited about it.”

The Alliance for Working Together Foundation’s mission is to promote rewarding careers in manufacturing. One of the ways this goal is accomplished is by connecting students to manufacturers to build combat robots that fight in this annual RoboBots competition.

The competition gets bigger and bigger each year.

Cable said there were about 5,000 people in attendance with over 50 volunteers this year.

“I’m thrilled to see so many people here to cheer their teams on,” she said. “The teams have really came up with some great designs.”