TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WEHT) – Another type of Hoosier Hysteria will have four Evansville area high school robotics teams competing on a basketball court-sized field in the FIRST Indiana Robotics state championships. The championships will take place at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology’s Sports and Recreation Center in Terre Haute on April 15 and 16.

The competition involves critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and problem solving. It is called the “Ultimate Sport for the Mind.” 

Evansville area teams competing are:

These teams of students have worked with teachers and mentors since Jan. 8 to design, build and program 4-foot-tall and 125-pound robots completely from scratch. They competed in district competitions in Columbus, Kokomo and Lafayette late last month.

The district and state competitions have been organized by FIRST Indiana Robotics. The championship event is expected to attract nearly 3,000 people to the Rose-Hulman campus, along with approximately 600 high school students, teachers, mentors, advisors, tech and engineering professionals and contest judges.  

“This competition is filled with real-world applications,” said Rose-Hulman professor of electrical and computer engineering Carlotta Berry. “It is exciting seeing all the different solutions that each team has developed to achieve a multitude of complex tasks. All the students are winners by getting to the state finals.” 

The top-ranked teams from the regional competitions were suPURDUEper Robotics from Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, CyberTooth from Kokomo’s Northwestern High School, Huntington’s independent Team Thrust, Maverick Boiler Robotics from Lafayette’s McCutcheon High School, Cyber Blue from Indianapolis’ Perry Meridian High School, Indianapolis’ Kil-A-Bytes from Lawrence Township’s McKenzie for Innovation and Technology and Career Academy South Bend. 

Opening ceremonies are April 15 from 10:30-11 a.m. in the Sports and Recreation Center’s Hulbert Arena. Qualifying matches start afterwards from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6:30 p.m. Matches continue on April 16 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Playoff matches are scheduled on April 16 from 1:15-4 p.m. and award ceremonies from 4-5:30 p.m. will conclude the weekend.

The Boeing Company will present this year’s game called Rapid React. The game has two competing alliances invited to process cargo for transportation.

Each alliance is assigned a cargo color to process by retrieving their assigned cargo and delivering it into the center of the playing field. Human players assist the cargo retrieval and scoring efforts from within their terminals. Alliance robots race to engage with their hangar to prepare for transport in the final moments of each match.

Readers can watch this video to learn about this year’s exciting game. All activities are free and open to the public. 

Sponsors supporting the event and its teams and students include Rose-Hulman, FIRST Robotics Indiana, Terre Haute Convention and Visitors Bureau, Applied Research Solution, Bastian Solutions, Cook Medical, Grote Industries, Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Law, Novelis, Nucor Vulcraft Indiana, Wayne Patrick and Trine University. 

Eight teams from competition will qualify for the first Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas on April 20-23.