2017-12-07 / Life in Leelanau

Suttons Bay to host regional Robotics meet

Students from across northern Michigan plan to gather Saturday at Suttons Bay for a regional robotics competition.

Suttons Bay High School will host its first-ever VEX IQ robotics meet that will involve 30 teams in the upper elementary and middle school age groups.

Local high school students have been participating successfully in the FIRST Robotics competitions for years. Teams from Suttons Bay, Leland and Glen Lake have all advanced to national competition.

The VEX IQ robotics competition is geared toward younger students and often acts as a feeder program for high school programs. Students build robots to compete in difference challenges.

Suttons Bay will have six teams competing Saturday. Leland will bring two and Glen Lake one.

(Northport may also have a presence, although the Enterprise did not receive a return call in time for this story.)

The theme of this year’s competition is “Ringmaster,” which will be played on a 4- by 8-foot rectangular field. Two robots compete as an alliance in 60-second teamwork matches, working collaboratively to score points.

Teams also compete in two additional challenges — The Robot Skills Challenge, in which one robot takes the field to score as many points as possible under driver control — and the Programming Skills Challenge in which one robot scores as many points as possible autonomously without driver inputs.

Teams score in Ringmaster by moving colored rings to specific goals on the playing field.

Qualifying matches will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Finals will begin from 12:30-1 p.m.

The public is invited to attend free of charge.

The Suttons Bay High School robotics team will be demonstrating its past season robots while assisting in running the event.

A concession stand will also be open to raise funds for the school’s robotics program.

The event is sponsored by the Suttons Bay-Leelanau County Rotary Club, Rick Simonton of Merrill Lynch, the Suttons Bay-Bingham Foundation and Suttons Bay Public Schools.

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