Teams showcase their robots

WARREN – While they had a very busy season competing at various state and national events, local FIRST Robotics teams from Trumbull and Mahoning counties were able to relax as they showcased what their robots can do at the annual Northeast Ohio Robotics Roundup Day.

The third annual event held at the National Packard Museum featured teams from Champion, Warren Harding, Austintown Fitch and Canfield schools.

Travis Hoffman, an adviser and lead engineer from the Warren G. Harding Delphi Elite team, said the focus of the event was not only on showing the larger robots from the high school level but the Lego League and smaller robots at the middle and elementary levels.

“Everyone enjoys watching what the larger robots do,” Hoffman said, noting that the robots are displayed outside due to their size and needing to move around to demonstrate the tasks they were constructed to do.

Mike McCall, an adviser for Champion’s Lightning Bot team, said the day gives the public the opportunity to come and see what the teams do.

“This gives us some public awareness and support and shows the positive things happening in the schools,” McCall said.

Hoffman said there are many people who have heard about the robots but have never seen them.

He said this past year they were able to get Canfield’s team started.

Canfield’s Circuit Birds team for its first year was able to make it to national competition in St. Louis. Girard High School’s Robocats team also made it nationals.

Paul Ugolini, a sophomore of Canfield High School, said for Canfield’s first year they did very well first at regionals in Pittsburgh and then at the championships. He said the team earned the “Rookie All Star Award” in Pittsburgh and then “Rookie Inspiration Award” in St. Louis.

Hannah Harris, a sixth-grader, has been part of the team at Austintown Middle School and plans to take part with robotics in high school.

“I have had a lot of fun being involved with robotics,” she said.

Hoffman said anyone who can assist with the robots for the upcoming school year can call 330-219-7848.