The Brighton High School TechnoDogs Robotics team - which was combined with three other teams in an alliance - won the world championship in the FIRST World Robotics Championship, which concluded Saturday evening at the Cobo Center and Ford Field in Detroit. As Captains of Alliance 2 in the Darwin Division, the TechnoDogs chose for their combined team the ThunderChickens from Sterling Heights, the SCH Vulcan Robotics from Philadelphia and Team Rembrandt from Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The coach of the TechnoDogs is Rocky Roberts, a Brighton High School teacher who heads the school’s Automotive Technology program.

On Thursday and Friday, teams competed in qualifying matches, which were played on six divisions, with each division comprised of 68 teams. The TechnoDogs’ robot, named Bot Ross, consists of a swerve drive allowing for quick maneuverability, pneumatic suction, an articulated arm to grab and release hatch panels and a ball handler that quickly grabs and delivers the cargo. In the qualifying matches the TechnoDogs were ranked 2nd out of 68 teams with a record of 10-0-0. They then won the Darwin Division playoffs to advance to the finals, which were held at Ford Field. The TechnoDog-led Darwin Alliance lost the first match 107-101, but rallied and won their second, 96-78. The third match was the tiebreaker, with the TechnoDogs’ alliance coming out victorious in a nail biter, 91-90 over an alliance of two Canadian teams, to garner the world title.

The TechnoDogs gave credit to the sponsors, Eberspächer, Promess, General Motors, Brighton Light House, Fiat Chrysler, Ilmor, Hitachi, and the Brighton Area Schools, for their support. (TT) Photo courtesy of Mary Durbin Beane