Martin Engineering is giving students, located near its Neponset headquarters, the opportunity to compete in a world-renowned robotics contest.
The company has brought together 24 aspiring young engineers aged 13 through 18 from six local schools to form the Martin Motion Robotics Team that participated in the Central Illinois FIRST Robotics Competition, which was held March 16-19.
Under the guidance of Martin’s volunteer mentors, the student team worked together to design, build and program industrial-size robots to play a challenging field game against like-minded competitors from other schools from across the United States and around the world.
The competition is as collaborative as it is competitive, with rival teams obliged to join forces so their robots work together to successfully complete chosen tasks, with the alliances rotating so different teams collaborate through progressive rounds before entering the play-off finals.
After a standing start in January, the Martin Motion team had six weeks to build a robot that meets the strict FIRST competition rules and that is ready to compete in the regional competition in Peoria.
The 2023 team is hoping to match Martin’s previous successes including several regional awards and back-to-back qualifiers for the world championships.
“Participating in the FIRST robotics competition is as close as students can get to real world engineering, giving them a unique STEM learning experience that they otherwise might not have access to,” President of Martin Motion, Sid Dave said.
Most teams entering the FIRST Robotics Competition comprises students from a single high school, but Martin Motion uniquely includes students from high school within a 30-mile radius of Neponset.
These area schools include Annawan, Bureau Valley, Cambridge, Kewanee, Stark County and Wethersfield.
“We are fortunate to have a wealth of expertise in Martin Engineering and a group of talented volunteer mentors who lend a huge amount of time to guide the team,” Martin Engineering Marketing Manager, Seth Mercer said.