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40 teams to compete in robotics competition at GCU

PHOENIX (FOX 10) - For the first time, Grand Canyon University will host the annual Southwest Regional Robotic Games where over 100 high school teams build and program industrial-sized robots.

During the first 45 seconds of competition at this year's games, dubbed "A Mission on Planet Mars, the team either operates their robot in autonomous mode or installs a camera since the teams are basically blindfolded.

"Black sheets coom down over and they're not able to see inside the field, so in the first 45 seconds, the shields then come up and they have to shoot the big orange bouncy balls into the shuttles and into the rocket ships to fuel the rocketships," Makayla Jewell said.

Then, the teams go into another course of the competition, operating their robots to pick up, throw or even move objects.

Both students and coaches say this competition teaches them how to build a fully-functional robot.

"You not only have to build a robot, but you have this entire business area you need to work on," Thomas Sison said.

The competition also shows that engineering is important and these skills will help students in the work field.

"Robotics teaches you electrical systems, mechanical systems and it's all tied together with some software," Ed Koeneman said. "They've got to do project management and budgeting as part of their journey through this competition and it's just fun for the students."