Several Livingston County teams distinguished themselves at this weekend’s FIRST Robotics State Championships.

A total of five Livingston County-based teams qualified for the championships held Thursday through Saturday at Saginaw Valley State University; Brighton High school’s TechnoDogs, Hartland High School Electro Eagles, Howell High School’s S.C.O.T.S. Bots, Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy’s Gems and Fowlerville’s FAST team, which was participating as a rookie squad. Both the TechnoDogs and Gems made it to the division finals, each in an alliance that pitted them against each other. Brighton ended up winning after taking the match to a tiebreaker. Unfortunately, they ended up losing in the state championship to an alliance consisting of teams from Allendale, Waterford and Calumet.

Meanwhile, Howell’s S.C.O.T.S. Bots claimed the FIRST Robotics Regional Chairman's Award after advancing to the quarterfinals. Based on their performance during the competition and for earning the Chairman's Award, the Howell team has advanced to the FIRST Robotics World Championship, set for April 26th through the 29th in Detroit. They’ll be joined by the Brighton, Hartland and CSPA teams, which also qualified. Additionally, Howell, Hartland and CSPA also accepted a certificate of recognition from Gov. Rick Snyder honoring each district for participating in the full progression of K-12 FIRST Robotics.

The FIRST Championship’s theme this year is called “Power Up,” and mimicking 1980s-style arcade games, requires the robots to pick up cubes and deliver them to one of three scales or a power-up station during the timed matches, which each last two-and-a-half minutes. (JK)