Virginia Western Community College will host 11th annual robot competition

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Virginia Western Community College will be full of robots Saturday for the 11th annual autonomous robot competition.

46 teams of high school and college teams will compete.

The competition will take place in the Virginia Western Humanities Building from 8 a.m. to noon.

According to a VWCC spokesman, the theme of the competition is worker bots.

"Autonomous robots will transport honey (orange and white ping-pong balls) from the hive (track) to the corner pockets on the track under a time limit," a press release states.

Emmanuel Mahgerefteh is a junior at Cave Spring High School.
He is taking a robotics course through a special program at the community college.

His team has been working for a few months on their robot design.

"I love robotics because it allows us to solve a specific problem, in this case, it is trying to figure out how to pick up the ping pong balls on the track," he said.

George Studtmann is an engineering instructor and in charge of the robot competition.

"It's really cool to see all of the designs," he said. "It's a great way for students to help students get a bug for design and engineering and technology."

Christiana George is a home-schooled high school junior. She didn't know very much about building robots before taking this course.

"It's just really cool, it's not too hard," said George.

She is a little nervous about the competition.

"Just because sometimes the robot does something really well and sometimes it has a mind of its own."

The community is welcome to attend the free event.