Local teams compete in Knoxville robotics contest

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KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The kids who will one day be running the world are at the Knoxville Convention Center this weekend for a regional robotics competition.

“This is like a serious competition. This is like any other sports competition that’s broadcast. We have announcers, we have scores, we have refs. The whole nine yards,” said L&N STEM Academy junior Alex Walker.

Out of 50 high school teams at this year’s FIRST Robotics Smoky Mountains Regional, 13 are from the greater Knoxville area.

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“It’s exciting, it’s great, it’s tons of fun. It’s a lot of energy, moving back and forth, fixing the robot and repairing it,” Walker said.Photos: FIRST Robotics Smoky Mountains Regional

“The competition is being able to stack totes, which are containers, and trash cans on top. You want to make as high of a stack as quickly as you can,” said Knoxville Catholic sophomore Mason Rucinski.

The teams had six weeks to build their robots. Most went through several design changes. Each team member comes out of the competition with a lot of knowledge, and maybe a new career goal.

“I just loving having problems and creating solutions to them,” Rucinski said.

The competition continues Saturday at the Knoxville Convention Center. It’s free and open to the public.

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