A group of young tech wizards will spend several hours Saturday rebuilding its Frisbee-playing robot, and invites the public to watch, and maybe get a little robotic, too.
The local robotics team, the Wired Wizards of Wilmington, is preparing for its third year of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) by retooling its 120-pound robot from the team's rookie season two years ago. They’ve turned a workday into what they’re calling a RobopoWWow, “a day of robots and geeky fun for everyone,” according to a news release Friday.
In addition to watching the reincarnation of the wizards’ boxy little robot, attendees can drive “Robox Sumo” robots, buy team t-shirts and help build a Lego wizard castle, the release stated. They can also donate to the team’s IndieGogo campaign, which has raised roughly 10 percent of the $4,000 the team needs to participate in February’s Palmetto Regional competition, held in Myrtle Beach.
“In order to register for the Myrtle Beach competition, we require funds,” the Wired Wizard website stated. “We’ve only attended one competition each season for our first two years, but going to a second competition [in the season] would allow us to practice with our robot in the first competition and tweak it afterwards to make it even better for the second. That will help us to achieve our goal of placing in the top eight at the Raleigh [North Carolina Regional] competition.”
FIRST Robotics Competition events are open to teams of high schoolers aged 14 to 18, according to the RRC website. Wired Wizard team members represent several area high schools.
In the competitions, teams field a robot designed to play a specified game. This year’s game will require robots to throw a Frisbee; last year’s game involved a ball.
Saturday’s RobopoWWow will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 803 S. College Road. The team's coach, Jazmin Capezza, is a tenant of the CIE. To attend, RSVP here