ESCANABA — The Calumet Cooper Bots were one of the three winners of the FIRST Robotics District Competition held in Escanaba over the weekend. Their alliance also consisted of Holland Christian High School and Bedford High School in Temperance, both from downstate.
The Copper Bots overcame a disappointing start to end up on the winning alliance team.
“It’s a great feeling especially since yesterday we weren’t doing that good. We were kind of down from that. It feels good to have a positive outcome being that we didn’t do that good yesterday,” said Emily Toepper, a junior at Calumet High School.
Coach Todd Wauiro said they ran into issues with their robot because they didn’t have a lot of time to test it.
“We had things that showed up in competition that didn’t show up in practice without the full field. When the competitors start bashing into you and there is that contact you start realizing the weak points and we found what was weak on our robot and we can start making those fixes. You really can’t do that without having that competitions,” he said.
Wauiro said he was impressed on how the kids stepped up to turn things around.
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Toepper was involved in the original design of the Copper Bots robot. She said they made changes based on the robot’s performance.
“We were hoping to put a shooter on so we put a shooter on it and the shooter did not work out. So we took the shooter off. We had a picker upper that can spit it out so we can make a low goal. It worked except our wheel to gear ratio was off so we had some issues with electrical,” she said.
The team will be making additional changes this week as they prepare for another competition next weekend in Traverse City.
“This is one of the greatest experiences these kids are going to have. The robotics program as a whole is such a tremendous thing for these kids and for the school and for the area, really for the future. The are building the skills they are going to use the rest of their lives,” said Wauiro.
The Escanaba Robomos were presented the Engineering Inspiration Award Saturday. The Quality Award was presented to the Gladstone BraveBots.
LaSalle High School in St. Ignace earned the Highest Rookie Seed Award. Houghton was given the Judges Award.
A complete list of awards is listed on the Michigan FIRST Robotics Competition website.
This was the first year that Escanaba hosted a FIRST Robotics District Competition.