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Regional robotics competition held at U.S. Cellular Arena

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MILWAUKEE -- Students spent the day Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Arena, testing their robots. Several high schools from the area came out to put their robot to the test on the basketball court. It was all part of the FIRST Wisconsin Regional Robotics Competition.

FIRST stands for "inspiration and recognition of science and technology."

At the U.S. Cellular Arena Saturday, the robots controlled the pace of a game called "Rebound Rumble." The objective was simple: a team of three robots tried to outscore their opponents, and then try balancing on one of three bridges. "We have a top scientist from NASA, MIT that create this game, and they definitely think of everything. They really want to challenge these students over the six-week build season," Steve Lynch with the FIRST Robotics Competition said.

Students had to constantly adapt their robots - much like scientists. Between Sussex-Hamilton High School's qualifying match-ups, the team constantly checked their robot to make sure nothing was broken. "Every little bit you do is going to damage it a little more," Aaron Sonnemann said of their robot that was a primary scorer in the game.

The team from Sheboygan Falls High School had a robot that was more of a role player. "We can triple balance if we wanted to, for a total of 40 points in the match," Cameron Keaton said.

Most of the students in attendance for the competition are looking to study engineering in the future. "It's more than a game, because it's the lessons that these students are taking from the three days, and into the future that's going to help them," Lynch said.

The top three teams in the competition received an automatic bid to the FIRST National Robotics Competition held in Saint Louis in April.