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  • Writer's pictureJack Gerber

Loveland FTC Robotics Team Advance to State

Loveland’s First Tech Challenge Robotics Teams, “Nuts and Bolts” and “The Bionic Tigers” have advanced to the Ohio State Championship. They both won the Inspire Award, the highest award in FIRST Tech Challenge, at qualifier competitions.

The Bionic Tigers and Nuts and Bolts work together in a match. This was at Loveland's scrimmage in November.
The Bionic Tigers posing for a picture after qualifying for states. This was at the Kirkland competition in January.

“The Bionic Tigers” competed at the Kirtland Qualifier near Cleveland on January 7th. Although the team placed 14th in the elimination rounds, they were able to make an exciting comeback after winning the Inspire Award, FIRST Tech Challenge’s highest award, which is given to the team that not only has a great robot but is also highly professional and works extensively with the community. Since the team was able to win this award, they were able to advance to the state competition. Luke Blaker (12), team lead for “The Bionic Tigers” says that he “is excited to attend the state championship” and that he’s “hopeful that our team will qualify for the world championship.”

Nuts and Bolts rooting on their team. This was at The Walnut Hills Qualifier in January.

Later, “Nuts and Bolts” competed at the Miami University Qualifier on January 14th. At that competition, they placed 5th in the initial elimination rounds, but they were selected as the first pick of the 1st seed alliance. After the intense final rounds, “Nuts and Bolts’” alliance was able to win, which allowed them to take a state championship qualification spot. Later, during the awards ceremony, it was announced that they had won the Inspire Award as well. Allison Spitzley (11), team lead for “Nuts and Bolts” says that this award “not only advances our team to Ohio State but recognizes Loveland’s outreach to the community to involve them in STEM.”

FIRST Tech Challenge is a robotics competition in which teams across the world build robots to complete tasks that are established at the start of the season as a part of the game reveal. This year’s game is called “Power Play,” in which teams must score cones on top of towers. This program teaches participants skills in engineering, programming, and business, which translate well to college and the workplace.

Teams generally build their robots starting at the game reveal in September until they begin competing in January. This year, Loveland’s teams decided to compete at Kentucky’s League Meets in November, which are low-stress opportunities to test robots and practice driving, but they required that robots be completed by November. Since these league meets, Loveland’s teams have continued improving their robots, with “The Bionic Tigers” even completely redesigning their robot to be more efficient. In January, teams begin to compete at qualifier competitions for the Ohio State Championship, in which 5 teams advance from each event. If teams can advance, they will attend the Ohio State Championship, where teams compete for one of 2 spots at the World Championship in Houston, Texas. Loveland’s teams will also be competing at the Kentucky State Championship, giving them the opportunity to qualify for Worlds there as well. While both of Loveland’s teams have attended Worlds in the past, with “The Bionic Tigers” attending last year, only about 2% of FIRST Tech Challenge teams qualify, making it very difficult for teams to get there.

If you’d like to watch Loveland’s teams compete at the Ohio State Competition, it will be on Saturday, March 11th at the Hobart Arena in Troy.

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