FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 14, 2018
OTTAWA, April 14, 2018— FIRST Robotics Team 2706: Merge Robotics and their robot Mergio has qualified for the FIRST World Championships in Detroit.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is an international competition created to get student excited about science and technology-based careers. They will compete from April 25-28 alongside 408 teams from around the world.
This is the first time the third-year community-based team has qualified for the Championship, held at the Cobo Center. Teams are mainly from America and Canada, but come from as far away as China, Australia, Israel, and the Netherlands. Merge Robotics is collectively made up of 48 students and 15 mentors.
“We have worked so hard for this and I can’t wait to experience this unique opportunity and show the world what we can do. We are so grateful to everyone who helped us get to this point- we’re so excited” says 16 year old Melissa Shaw.
Qualifying for the Championship comes off of an incredibly successful season. Merge Robotics finished as semi-finalists of the FIRST Ontario District Championship’s Science Division, partnering with two teams from Toronto to complete this year’s challenge, FIRST POWER UP, April 12-14.
FIRST POWER UP is an arcade-style game played on a 54’ by 27’ field in two alliances of three teams each. Matches are about two-and-a-half minutes each, and during that time teams must put blocks on certain areas of the field to take possession of a switch and a scale to accumulate points.
The more time the switch and scale are in their possession, the more points they earn. Teams can also pass blocks to their “human player” through holes in the field to initiate Power Ups, which give them additional points for certain actions depending on the type. At the end of the match, teams are challenged to have their robot climb the side of tower at the center of the field for bonus points.
At the district level, Team 2706 made it to the finals at the Ryerson University District Event March 15-17. They also captured the Engineering Inspiration award for their commitment to inspire respect for engineering in their community. They were also semi-finalists at the North Bay District Event, held March 29-31 at Nipissing University. Judges also gave them the Industrial Design award due to their robot’s robust nature.
Who: FRC Team 2706: Merge Robotics
What: Competes at the FIRST World Championships
When: April 25-28, 2018
Where: Cobo Center, Detroit, Mich.
Why: For the love of science, technology, engineering, and business
About FRC Team 2706: Merge Robotics
Merge Robotics was created in 2015 to ensure that students from any school could access the wonders of FIRST robotics and STEM education. When signing up for competition each team is given a number, hence Team 2706.
The team is run by a volunteer-run non-profit corporation, Ottawa West Community Robotics, and the team runs out of Ontario Rental Supply and Cedar Ridge High School in Kanata, Ont. It currently has about 48 students and 15 mentors, and teaches students how to design, fabricate, and program a 120-lb robot in six weeks, as well as acquire sponsorship, do business presentations, and engage in community outreach.
Annually, the team builds a robot, mentors robotics teams for younger children, does demonstrations for local Girl Guide and Scout groups, and partners with the Ottawa Public Library to teach programming workshops in the community. It also is asked to represent FIRST Robotics Canada federally, being invited to numerous events on Parliament Hill.
Founded in 1989 by inventor Dean Kamen, FIRST Robotics is a global organization dedicated to getting young people excited about science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The most popular league, the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC), has high-school aged students partner with teachers, industry, and business leaders to create an 120 lb robot capable of a challenge released each January. From the challenge’s release date, known as Kick Off, teams have six weeks to build their robot.
After that, Ontario teams compete in two district competitions to accumulate points based on how well their team competes in both the robot and business challenges. If they are within the top teams in Ontario, they compete at the FIRST Ontario District Championships, held April 12-14 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ont.
If they do well at that competition, they are invited to one of two FIRST World Championships, held jointly in Detroit, Mich., and Houston, TX., April 25-28.