Dust Control Technologies is supporting Icarus 2081, a FIRST Robotics team made up of 20 students from Notre Dame High School and Quest Charter Academy, both in Peoria.
Team Icarus has already had a taste of success, winning the 2012 Boilermaker regional and then earning the engineering inspiration award at the 2013 Crossroads regional and the engineering excellence award at the 2014 Wisconsin regional.
Dust Control Technology CEO Edwin Peterson said it was fascinating to see the designs the teams came up with and then to see them compete head to head.
The company joins Martin Engineering and Advanced Technology Services with its support of Team Icarus.
Team Icarus member John Nogaj said the competitions were specifically set up to encourage teamwork and interaction between people and groups with different strengths.
“Every team has the same objective – engineering and building a robot to perform specific tasks for each competition.
“Teams have just six weeks to complete their design from a common kit of parts supplied by FIRST.
“It’s not uncommon for the completed robots to weigh as much as 70kg.”
Nogaj said this year’s event was a little like a soccer tournament.
“The machines were teamed up into three-robot alliances assigned at random by FIRST and each alliance faced an opposing team,” he said.
“Points were scored every time the robot tossed an exercise ball through a goal and extra points were awarded for each robot-to-robot pass.
“At the same time the other team was working to score its own goals and actively obstruct the opponent’s progress.”
FIRST was founded in 1989 by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen as a public charity to inspire young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths while building knowledge and life skills.