Weather Forecast


Robotics team advances to world championship

Team 4499B, named "A-I" from the Bemidji Civil Air Patrol, won the Excellence Award at the VEX Robotics Competition on Friday in Thief River Falls. The team won a trophy and all-expense paid trip to Anaheim, Calif., to participate in the VEX Robotics World Championship in April. Team members are David Helgager, Bryan Porter Joe Rogers and Zachary Olson and coach Doug Coutlee. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer

A robotics team with the Civil Air Patrol Northland Composite Squadron has qualified to compete at the VEX Robotics World Championship set for April 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.

The Bemidji team, named "A-I," which stands for Artificial Intelligence, placed first ahead of 25 teams at the 360-Degree North VEX Robotics Tournament last week at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.

"A-I" members David Helgager, Bryan Porter, Zachary Olson, Joseph Rogers and Coach Doug Coutlee will be advancing to the world championship.

Another Bemidji team, "On Steel," placed 12th at the regional tournament. This team consists of Mandy Bushong, Tom Rogers, Cody Schlychting and Coach Ethan Helgager.

Lt. Tom Steinar has served as the overseer of the CAP robotics program.

This is the first year the Northland Composite Squadron has had a robotics team. Since December, the teams had been meeting every Monday afternoon.

During the 2012 world championship, which will gather the top teams from more than 230 robotics tournaments from around the world, Bemidji's team will play a game called VEX Gateway, which is played on a 12-foot-by-12-foot square field.

The game consists of two alliances, composed of two teams each. The teams will compete in matches consisting of a 20-second period followed by 2 minutes of driver-controlled play. The team with the highest score wins.

Other teams that competed at the North VEX Robotics Tournament were Bagley High School and Clearbrook-Gonvick School. Fosston High School also competed and received the Judges Award at the event.