Robo-Con gathers mid-Michigan teams




The fifth annual Robo-Con was held at The Lapeer Center for Innovation (formerly Lapeer West) on Saturday afternoon, and the event attracted well over 1,000 visitors, including robotics teams from the Thumb Region who held an actual competition during the free, family-friendly event. Photos by Alex Petrie

The fifth annual Robo-Con was held at The Lapeer Center for Innovation (formerly Lapeer West) on Saturday afternoon, and the event attracted well over 1,000 visitors, including robotics teams from the Thumb Region who held an actual competition during the free, family-friendly event. Photos by Alex Petrie

LAPEER — The fifth annual Robo- Con proved to be the biggest and best yet, with well over 1,000 attendees throughout the course of the day. The free event, held at Lapeer Center for Innovation, featured hands-on activities including a virtual reality booth and the chance to drive actual robots from past competitions, as well as the first-ever robotics competition hosted by two Lapeer County teams – StrikeZone and the Chimeras.

Though initially started by the FIRST Robotics Lapeer Chimeras Team 1684, Robo-Con brought on a number of community partners in 2016, including View Newspaper Group, to help grow the popular event.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics combines excitement with hands-on training in science and technology to help high school students discover how rewarding a career in engineering or technology can be. The experience students gain with FIRST often leads to college scholarships and other opportunities.

Brandon Fitch, 11, of Burton, gets a hand from Adam Sally, of Escape VR, while testing out the company’s virtual reality headset. The VR booth was one of the biggest draws at Robo-Con this year.

Brandon Fitch, 11, of Burton, gets a hand from Adam Sally, of Escape VR, while testing out the company’s virtual reality headset. The VR booth was one of the biggest draws at Robo-Con this year.

“This year’s event proved to be another huge success, with a lot of new and familiar faces,” said View Newspaper Group Brand Manager Emily Caswell. “We’re extremely proud to be part of Robo-Con and have watched the event grow exponentially in the last few years. Robotics offers so much for not only the students and families that get involved, but for the community as well, which Robo-Con continues to prove in Lapeer.”

The Apollo 11 Founding Members of Robo-Con include View Newspaper Group, Cypress Integration Solutions, The Robot Space, Lapeer Community Schools and Lapeer Robotics. Sponsors include Kettering University, ZF Lemforder, McLaren Lapeer Region, Baker College, Escape VR, Mott Community College, Lakestone Bank & Trust, Village Printing, Louie’s Sports Tavern, The Chatfield School, Big Ben Enterprises, and Sovita Credit Union.

To learn more about Robo-Con, visit www.MiRoboCon.com. Alex Petrie


Lapeer’s Chimeras Team 1684, who helped to initially found Robo-Con, were on hand during this year’s event, hosting a slew of other robotics teams for a competition.

Lapeer’s Chimeras Team 1684, who helped to initially found Robo-Con, were on hand during this year’s event, hosting a slew of other robotics teams for a competition.

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