Members of the Cassopolis Robo Rangers celebrate winning their qualifying round Friday.
Members of the Cassopolis Robo Rangers celebrate winning their qualifying round Friday.

Archived Story

Niles team claims winning robotics alliance

Published 6:24pm Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. JOSEPH — Niles’ Team Excel is off to a perfect start in the Michigan FIRST Robotics 2013 season.

Excel was part of the alliance that took first place at the FIRST Robotics competition Saturday at St. Joseph High School. Excel was also part of the winning alliance at an FRC event in Traverse City March 1.

For this year’s event – Ultimate Ascent – robots score points for their team by shooting discs through goals and by climbing a pyramid at the end of each match.

“The most difficult part was figuring out how to make the robot pick up a frisbee,” said Connor Miller, driver for Team Excel, which is based at Southwestern Michigan College in Niles. “A lot of teams don’t pick up Frisbees, so we thought that would be a big advantage for us.”

Members of Team Excel installed rollers on either side of the robot capable of grabbing discs from the floor and putting them in the disc storage area where they wait to be shot.

Excel also received an Innovation in Control award.

Other area robotics teams also competed at the St. Joseph event.

The Cassopolis RoboRangers advanced to the elimination round and took home the Engineering Inspiration Award. They were 6-6 on the day.

The Lake Michigan College Community Team, of Niles, finished with a 5-7 record and did not advance past the qualifying round.

Niles High School’s team finished 2-6 and did not advance to the elimination round.


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