Students show off robots, expertise at event in Aviano

The field is set with four robots on platforms as well as blocks in the center and relics in the corner. A pair of alliances with two teams each battle to see who can score the most points in each round.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 25, 2018

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy – Dozens of American and international teenagers showed off their robots and technological know-how Saturday at the Department of Defense Education Activity-Europe Invitational, a regional qualifier for the FIRST Tech Challenge world championships.

Teams spent months building their robots to perform the tasks of the competition.

They played “relic recovery,” where robots try to gather and stack blocks and maneuver around the playing field, among other requirements.

Robots first performed on their own for 30 seconds using programmed instructions. Students then electronically guided their robots for two minutes.

Newman College’s SPACE team from Breda, Netherlands, earned the inspiration award, which recognized not only success, but teamwork, documentation of the project and how the team carried itself during the competition.

The Robo-Lancers from DODEA’s RAF Lakenheath teamed up with the German EAGles, a team from Ernst-Abbe Gymnasium in Stuttgart, Germany, to win the competition portion of the event.

SPACE and their partner Superfluou’s A’postrphe’s from Ramstein High School came in second.

Nine DODEA schools participated in the event and fielded 11 of the 20 teams. Other teams came from Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

It’s the second straight year that Aviano hosted the event, which serves as the only regional qualifier in Europe.

Vilseck freshman Alyssa Garrison works on her team's robots between competitions Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, at the DODEA-Europe Invitational at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

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