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Caeleb Smith, of Henry County, traveled with his FIRST Robotics team, The Engineers of Kentucky – Team 2783, to compete in the 2011 Boilermaker Regional Competition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., March 18 and 19.
Each team participated in a robot building session that took place from Jan. 8 to Feb. 20, at which time the robot had to be shipped to the competition site. Teams worked on such skills as programming, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, CAD designing and more.
When the teams arrived at the regional competition, they participated in the 2011 game called Logo Motion.
The object was to get the robot, and the alliance teams’ robots, to hang as many inflated triangles, circles and squares as possible on grids to earn points.
The teams could gain bonus points if they hung the shapes in the correct order of the FIRST logo: triangle, circle and square.
Each team also had a minibot that was released in the last few seconds of each round to race other minibots to the top of its pole first.
During the game, team members drove and coached the robot, served as a human player or worked in the fast-paced pit troubleshooting problems or improving robots before the next match. The pit was where Smith was assigned to work. He helped in all areas, but preferred working on electrical engineering issues.
The team came away from the contest in the top segment of all 42 robot teams and also won the Industrial Safety Award. This prestigious award celebrated the team that progressed beyond basic safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or prevent hazards.
The Engineers of Tomorrow, Team 2783, will travel to St. Louis, Mo., to compete in the World FIRST competition April 27-30.
FIRST was created in 1989 by Dean Kamen, an inventor and entrepreneur, and has Woodie Flowers of MIT as an advisor. The abbreviation FIRST represents “For Inspiration of Science and Technology.”
Smith is the home-schooled son of David and Tina Smith of Campbellsburg. This is his first year on the high school team. Previously, he was on a FIRST Lego League Team.