FLINT — The Northville Robostangs motored away with three of the highest awards resented at the 12th Annual Kettering Kickoff FIRST Robotics competition at Kettering University in Flint on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The Robostangs shared No. 1 Top Dog honors with the Grand Blanc Enginerds and the Romulus Extreme Eagles as the three-team alliance won the day-long FIRST pre-season robotics event.

The Northville team also won the Robot Design Excellence Award and the No. 1 Seed trophy. The Robot Design Excellence Award goes to the team whose robot demonstrates excellence in aesthetics, performance, reliability, simplicity, efficiency and innovation. The No.1 Seed is the highest seeded alliance during the tournament, based on scoring performance.

About 800 visitors attended the FIRST contest that attracted 40 teams — one from Canada and the rest from Michigan. The game was the one used in last winter’s FIRST competition — Logo Motion, featuring robots moving inflatable squares, circles and triangles to score points, plus the performance of a team’s mini-bot.

Kettering Kickoff Founder Bob Nichols said the Kettering Kickoff is a popular pre-season FIRST contest in Michigan.

“It matches the 2011 robots from FIRST Robotics with 2011-12 high school teams,” he said. “It allows teams to build skills and teamwork camaraderie before the new FIRST competition season begins in January.”

Overall winners of the tournament, The Top Dog Award, went to the three first-place teams:
Team 326, Extreme Eagles, Romulus
Team 548, Robostangs, Northville
Team 2337, Enginerds, Grand Blanc.

The Big Dog Award, second-place in the tournament, was shared by:
Team 27, Team Rush, Clarkston
Team 1243, The Dragons, Swartz Creek
Team 1684, The Chimeras, Lapeer.

Other top awards at the Kettering Kickoff went to:
The Robot Design Excellence Award – Team 548, Robostangs, Northville.
The Safety Award – Team 3667, PoHo Robots, Port Huron.
The “Long Shot” Award – Team 1075, Sinclair Sprockets, Whitby, Ontario.
The #1 Seed Award – Team 548, Robostangs, Northville.
Top Score of the Day – An alliance of Team 51, Wings of Fire of Pontiac; Team 1075, Sinclair Sprockets of Whitby, Ontario; and Team 2137, TORC of Oxford.
The Spirit of FIRST Award – Team 862, Lightning Robotics of Plymouth.
The ‘Kick Hunger’ Award — a food drive on behalf of the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan was won by Team 314, Big Mo, Flint.

During the Kettering Kickoff, a variety of automobiles were on display, including a Chevy Volt and Chevrolet, Buick and GMC products from Patsy Lou Williamson Dealership in Flint and Al Serra also provided GM products for visitors to see.

FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, is a national effort to inspire youth to explore career possibilities in engineering, science and technology.  FIRST robotics pits teams in a head-to-head competition between large radio-controlled robots built by teams of high school students and sponsoring engineers and teachers.

Kettering University is located in Flint, Michigan, and is the country’s premier engineering, science and business university dedicated to experiential learning and co-op education.  Kettering is a national leader in preparing entrepreneurs and innovators.  For more information, visit www.kettering.edu   For more on the Kettering Kickoff, visit: www.KetteringFIRST.com


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