WPI's FIRST Robot Places Among Top at Hartford Regionals

Contact: WPI Media & Community Relations

Mass Academy supporters cheer on the team.

FIRST robot team of Mass Academy/WPI (far right) during competition in Hartford.

Worcester, Mass. -- After a slow start at the UTC New England Regional FIRST Competition in Hartford on Friday, the Mass Academy/WPI team improved steadily and was picked by the seeded Aztechs of Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School along with the NYPRO/Clinton High School team to compete as an alliance against others in the Saturday seeded rounds.

Following the Friday competition, the Academy/WPI team was awarded the Honeywell Leadership in Control Award for displaying the most innovative control system or application of control components to provide unique machine functions. Ken Stafford, manager of academic initiatives, noted that "Gompei" the robot's driveline as well as its software sophistication, received rave reviews. A busload of Mass Academy juniors, as well as two busloads of Doherty High School supporters (one of the drivers is from Doherty) drove down to cheer on Friday.

Here are the highlights of the Saturday competition from Ken Stafford.

"Selected primarily due to our awesome blocking and defensive power, the Aztechs held us in reserve to tackle vulnerable opponents. In the end, we made it through the quarter finals but were eliminated in a close two out of three in the semis. Overall that places us in 3rd or 4th place out of 41 teams (FIRST has a fairly arbitrary,uncomprehensible manner of determining place within brackets)."

The team travels to the National Championships this weekend at Disney World's Epcot Center where last year they placed eighth.

For more information, photos and updates, visit the WPI/Mass Academy FIRST 2000 Team website.