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Robotics Competition Highlights Students’ Skills

As a way to showcase the industrial robot skills of high school and technical college students for prospective employers, Lab Midwest and Fanuc Robotics hosted the first Team Robotics Competition.

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High school and technical college students from across Wisconsin competed in the inaugural Team Robotics Competition held at the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Technology Show (WIMTS). This contest was designed to demonstrate the students’ skills with industrial robots in the presence of employers seeking skilled candidates.

“These students are getting a unique opportunity to showcase their industrial automation skills right in front of employers seeking skilled candidates for high-wage positions,” said Matt Kirchner, president of LAB Midwest. “It’s a great testament to the work our high schools and technical colleges are doing to prepare students for rewarding careers.”

Hosted by Lab Midwest and Fanuc Robotics, the competition took place October 8th and 9th, challenging 23 teams of up to three students each from across the state to design, program, and operate a proposed task on a FANUC LR Mate 200iD robot. The challenge allowed teams to be creative in how they accomplished the task. They were also tested on flowchart writing, teamwork, program planning, and robotics knowledge.

The first-place high school team—Mayville High School—was awarded an all-expense-paid trip to IMTS 2020 in Chicago to be featured in FANUC’s education booth.

The first-place college team—Madison College—received a FANUC M1iA 4-axis robot for use in its robotics and automation programs.

The second and third place teams in each division—Lakeshore Technical College & Moraine Park Technical College and West Bend High School and Plymouth High School—in each division received $1,500 and $750, respectively, to put toward their automation and robotics programs.

Madison College offered to donate its winning robot back to the competition so that it could be given to the winner of the high school division. The Madison College team did this, noting that it was their way of helping to attract younger students to industrial robotics with the hope that those students would pursue the field into post-secondary education and beyond.

In response to this gesture, Lab Midwest and Fanuc will provide the Madison College team with an all-expense paid trip to be featured at IMTS 2020 in Chicago, along with the Mayville High School team—the winners of the high school competition.         

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