Congratulations to the AdamBots Robotics Team!

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Congratulations to AdamBots Team 245 from Michigan’s Rochester Adams and Stoney Creek high schools on winning first place in the 2013 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Palmetto Regional Competition in Myrtle Beach on March 2!

This win earns them a place at the 2013 FIRST World Championship in St. Louis in April. The team also won the worldwide award for the best Safety Animation, meaning that entry will now be shown at all FIRST Robotics Competition events.

FIRST Robotics is a worldwide competition, with 2,548 high school robotics teams from 16 countries participating.

Persephone, Greek Goddess

AdamBots uses a special formula for naming the robot (“bot” for short): It has to have four syllables and be a female name. This year, the bot is affectionately called Persephone (per-SEH-fǝ-nee), Goddess of the Underworld. Homer calls Persephone formidable, majestic, and venerable — and the bot is definitely living up to her name.

The Game: Ultimate Ascent

FIRST devises an engineering challenge disguised as a game to put the bots through their paces. Each team builds and programs a bot based on strict rules, specifications, resources and time limits while also raising funds, developing the team “brand” and marketing it.

According to FIRST, “It’s as close to ‘real-world engineering’ as a student can get,” which is exactly why Plex Systems is proud to sponsor this local team. We believe in developing and encouraging an interest in engineering and the sciences, particularly in young minds, and we are proud to see how AdamBots team members are learning in every new challenge of this competition.

This year’s game, Ultimate Ascent, involves shooting plastic discs at a netted goal and climbing a pyramid on a defined playing field, all within two minutes and 15 seconds. During the first 15 seconds, the “autonomous period,” the team drivers may not control the bots. Instead, the bots must be programmed to move around and play the game. After that, the drivers resume control.

Watch a video of Persephone, number 245, competing in Myrtle Beach.


The 64 students on the AdamBots team work on different sub-teams, depending on their skills and interests. There’s the Build Team, which includes sub-teams for programming, CAD/design, controls and electronics, and building the bot itself, including the chassis, disc shooter and climbing mechanism. Non-engineering teams cover everything from project management and business plan development to photos, videos, marketing and digital media. Check out the AdamBots 2013 FIRST pit commercial.

In Their Own Words

Members of the team were recently asked what they have learned from this experience. Senior Elizabeth Person, team captain, said, “I never get tired of being able to tell people that in my spare time, I work with a team to build a competitive robot in only six weeks. Robotics has been the most incredible and rewarding part of my high school experience.”

When asked what is special about FIRST, junior Andrew McBride said, “It pushes you to think outside of the box to solve the problems each year’s game provides.”

It’s been our privilege to have sponsored AdamBots since 2010. Other sponsors this year include General Motors Global Product Development, the Chrysler Foundation, Magna Powertrain AG and Science Applications International Corporation.

You can learn more about the team at their award-winning website.