Two York County teams head to state robotics championship

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Competitors, including York County teams, took part in the two-day Rover Ruckus robotics tournament at Penn State York this weekend.

Fifty-four teams of middle and high school students participated in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge South Central PA Regional Qualifier robotics competition on Saturday, Feb. 2, and the Blue and White Qualifier on Sunday, Feb. 3. 

Five winning teams from Saturday and four from Sunday moved on to the Pennsylvania FTC Championship, to be held March 2-3 at Oxford Area High School in Oxford, Chester County, including two teams from York County.

TechSpark from TechSpark Robotics in York was part of the winning alliance with the Robotic Doges, from Laurel Highlands Education and Robotics in Hollsopple, Somerset County, and Tardis, from Corning, New York.

The York Country Day GearHounds had previously qualified but took part in the finals as part of the runner-up alliance with The Giant Diencephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team and The Substantial Monocephalic BrainSTEM Robotics Team, both from Baden, Beaver County.

The competition is played on a 12-foot-by-12-foot field. The object of the game is to attain a higher score than opponents through automated and driver-controlled periods where different maneuvers such as landing, placing a team marker, collecting "minerals" and parking all gain points.

This is the first year the number of entries has pushed the Penn State York event to two days. Teams from as far as Toronto participated.