Robots are moving in to take over the Renaissance Coliseum at Bradley University. The FIRST Robotics Central Illinois Regional Competition is taking place in the arena this weekend.
It’s free and open to the public. The intense weekend competition is largely considered a varsity sport for the mind.
It showcases robots developed and operated by teams of high school students, paired with engineering and science mentors. They have six-and-a-half weeks to build robots that solve the specific engineering goals of this year’s robot game.
The spectator-friendly competition has 37 teams participating including those from Peoria, Washington, Tremont, and Dunlap. One participating team is from as far away as Turkey.
The competition is Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 or 5 p.m with awards ceremonies to follow each evening.
Saturday morning, the top four FIRST Lego League champion teams in the state will also offer expo matches. The FIRST Lego League teams are made up of 4th through 8th graders.
The FIRST Robotics Competition at Bradley coincides with the IHSA Boys March Madness at the Peoria Civic Center as well as the annual St Patrick's Day Parade in downtown.
Visit the website to learn more about the FIRST Robotics competition.