(Staff Reports) UNC Asheville will host the North Carolina District FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition on campus from March 19-20 in Kimmel Arena in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center. Twenty-five teams of high school students from North Carolina, Virginia and New Hampshire will assemble on campus to engage in a field competition with industrial-sized robots, which they have built and programmed themselves. The competition is free and open to the public.
Competition begins with the opening ceremonies at 10:30 a.m., and continues until 7:30 p.m. onSaturday, March 19. The event resumes on Sunday, March 20 with opening ceremonies at 10 a.m., more robotics competition, and an awards ceremony from 5-6:30 p.m.
Under strict rules, limited resources and an intense six-week time limit, student teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand, hone teamwork skills, and build and program industrial-size robots to play a difficult field game against like-minded competitors.
“In the stands, in the pit, in and around the field, there’s not going to be a quiet space of the Sherrill Center,” said Joseph Caswell, a UNC Asheville mechatronics student and team mentor. “It’s going be full of noise, of robots smashing up against the wall and fans cheering and teams just giving their all.”
Winning teams earn the right to compete in the FIRST North Carolina State Championship, held at UNC Charlotte April 9-10.