Ready for roboraces
Gwinnett teams compete in robot competition

DULUTH - The Gwinnett Convention Center was taken over by robots this week as 45 high school teams competed in the FIRST Robotics Peachtree Regional Competition.

Gwinnett County's competitors were Peachtree Ridge's RoboLions, Norcross High's Gear Devils, North Gwinnett High's 404 The Unknown Error and Duluth High's Robots of the Round Table.

All four Gwinnett teams advanced to the finals Saturday, but none won the regional tournament.

Each team had six weeks to design and build a robot that could compete in this year's game, "FIRST Overdrive." FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was created to help young people get excited about science and technology, said Ray Spurlin, a mentor who worked with Norcross High's team.

Peachtree Ridge's team was especially excited Friday afternoon after they set a new record. Keefer Dunn, the president of the RoboLions, was momentarily speechless after he watched his team's robot race around the track and launch a ball over an overpass five times.

"We put so much time and effort into it, and it's exhilarating to see it work," Dunn said.

Peachtree Ridge sophomore Daniel Peterson, who drives the robot through controls, said the game can be stressful, but it's exciting and a lot of fun.

"The game is like a problem, almost," he said.

Norcross High junior Christopher Wilson also said the competition is fun.

"I really enjoy it," he said. "The team is working together for a common objective."