The Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT) robotics team snagged first-place at its first two district competitions over the last few weekends.
“At the competition held in Waterford, March 17, we were the first seeded team so we got to choose to play with a team from (the International Academy) Central and were part of a winning alliance,” said HOT team mentor Lori Gleason. “We earned one of the highest scores possible and earned the Engineering Excellence Award, which was very cool.”
The HOT team also took first at this past weekend’s Northville District Tournament. The team was seeded first and chose an alliance with the Northville Robostangs and the Dexter Dreadbots.
“This alliance won the tournament and scored a world record 113 points,” Gleason said. “The HOT team also won the GM (General Motors) Industrial Design award, which celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively achieves the game challenge for their amazing robot arm.”
These wins guarantee the HOT team a spot in the Michigan Championship Tournament, which will be held from April 12 to 14.
The HOT Team, a member of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology International (FIRST), is comprised of 42 students from Huron Valley Milford High School, Huron Valley Lakeland High School, and the International Academy West, who pair up with 20 mentors from the GM Proving Grounds and Huron Valley Schools.
The mission of FIRST and the HOT team is to inspire students’ interest in science and technology. The mentors and students work in unison to build products that are judged in FIRST Robotics regional competitions and the championship event. Products include a robot capable of playing a game designed by FIRST; documentation of the success of the team with multi-media technology; and an animated short created using the same software used by the motion picture industry.
The HOT team was formed back in 1997 and during its inaugural year, took first-place in the Rookie All-Star Award competition. In 2005, the team won the Chairman’s Award and the World Championship in Atlanta, which catapulted it into the Robotics Hall of Fame. Then in 2007, the team placed second in the world finals. Lastly, in both 2009 and 2010, the team was crowned one of the victors and earned the prestigious title of World Robotics Champion.
Michigan district competitions, involving 40 teams, began earlier this month and extend through April. The HOT team will be in action again at the Troy District tournament on Friday, March 30 and Saturday, March 31.