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MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY HOSTS REGIONAL ROBOTICS COMPETITION

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Alumni Memorial Gym at Middle Tennessee State  University was overrun Saturday with kids and robots.

Knoxville-based TNFirst conducted its Tech Challenge Regional Robotics Competition in middle Tennessee for the first time. Some 300 middle- and high-school students competed for bragging rights in the all-day event.

Organizers say the competition gives students a chance to learn about everything from engineering to business planning and designing firsthand.

Among the 28 teams competing were groups of students from Knoxville and Oak Ridge. Other areas represented were Lawrenceburg, Manchester, Memphis, Nashville and Dayton, Ohio. Teams comprised up to 15 students and two to three adult mentors.

Students and their robots competed in a “Rover Ruckus” on a 12’x12′ arena, in a two-on-two format. The 28 teams were ranked during 60 different matches.

The robotics kit for each team featured Android technology and professional-quality software options, with wireless communications, metal gears, 11 motors, nine sensors, two game controllers and all the components and building materials each team would need. Robots’ maximum dimensions were 18″ long, 18″ wide and 18″ high.

The team from Lawrence, Kentucky, Lectric Legends, emerged victorious.

According to its website homepage, TNFirst’s mission is celebrating and promoting science, technology and entrepreneurship.

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