Robots battle like gladiators

Photo Credit: Mike Horne

At a time when robotics are being used more, like in surgeries, building cars and even in the military, engineers are in high demand! It's the reason why Kettering University is encouraging high school students to enter the field.

On Saturday, Kettering kicked off their ninth annual Kettering Kickoff, a high school robotics competition as part of the national FIRST program in the university's rec center. (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.)

It's like playing a video game with real machines. The "drivers" use XBOX controllers, joy sticks and steering wheels to make the robots battle it out.

One high school student from Notre Dame Prep says, "it's crazy out there and it's just intense because everyone's yelling but it's fun all at the same time!"

The object of the game is attain a higher score than your opponent by making counter-clockwise laps with your robot around the track while moving large balls over the bar that bisects the track. Each match is two minutes and 15 seconds long. Between rounds, students have just six minutes to get ready for their next round.

The competition is meant to attract more students into the school of engineering.

"There's a huge shortage of engineers," Bob Nichols, for Kettering University says. "Companies are crying for engineers and this is our method for Kettering to recruit students in."

This year there were 42 teams all together, 11 of them were local.