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Citrus Circuits gears up for new season of competition

0104 roboticsW

Robots capable of passing and shooting a 5-pound exercise ball into a goal will be designed and built this year by the Citrus Circuits robotics team in Davis. Courtesy photo

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From page A8 | January 14, 2014 |

The Citrus Circuits robotics team is entering build mode for the 2014 FIRST Robotics competition.

The team — composed of students from Davis and Da Vinci high schools, as well as Harper, Holmes, Emerson and Da Vinci junior high schools — will spend the next few weeks building a robot capable of passing and shooting a 5-pound exercise ball into a goal.

This year’s robotics challenge, “Aerial Assist,” was revealed earlier this month. The game will involve three-team alliances shooting an exercise ball that’s two feet in diameter into one of eight goals. Additional points will be earned by passing the ball and tossing it over a truss in the center of the playing field.

But first, teams will have to build their robots, using kits provided by FIRST. Once they’ve completed building their robot, the Citrus Circuits team will compete in multiple competitions with the goal of qualifying yet again for the FIRST World Championships in St. Louis in April.

The first competition will be the Inland Empire Regional in Colton from Feb. 28 to March 2, followed by the Sacramento Regional held at UC Davis on March 13-14. The team also may compete at the Silicon Valley Regional on April 3-5.

Citrus Circuits, which formed in 2004, has done extremely well in competition in recent years, winning the Sacramento Regional competition twice and reaching the Final Four of the World Championships last year.

The team is coached by Da Vinci teacher Steve Harvey and mentored by team alumni, parents and area college students. Learn more about the team at www.citruscircuits.org.

The FIRST competition was founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen in 1989 as a way to get high school students inspired by science and technology. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of students have participated, building robots that shoot basketballs, toss Frisbees, play soccer and more.

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