Motorized controllers, internal ramps, front facing claws, and…spatulas? The different approaches to each robot’s design exemplified the team’s creativity. Parents, teachers, professors and industry representatives gathered at the Lawrence Hall of Science during PiE’s final competition weekend to view teams’ finalized robots compete against one another for the 2013 championship.

This year’s game tested robots’ abilities to manipulate cubes, flip dice, and navigate the field autonomously. Many teams came up with cleverly designed robots, making excellent use of distance sensors, accelerometers, and encoders. While design components were important in doing well in the game, one of the crucial keys to victory was able to accomplish most of the game tasks _while strategically working with their alliance partners. _Teams were initially randomly grouped into alliances and compete in elimination matches, and the strongest teams got first choice in choosing their alliance. At the end of the Day 2, our judges got together to decide on award recipients to highlight teams’ extraordinary accomplishments and efforts.

Here are our 2013 award recipients:

Competition winners: Oakland Tech and Nea Community Center

_Engineering Professionalism: Oakland Tech _

Mechanical Design: Encinal

Software, Sensors, and Control: Head-Royce

Agilent Spirit Award: Realm

Judge’s Award: LPS-Richmond

Many judges commented that to see that underneath the competition, they were impressed to see the cooperative spirit that students demonstrated. For a detailed record of each team’s adventures, please visit their team blogs.

Teams should be proud of their accomplishments this season - they competed in the largest competition PiE staff has organized to date and showed significant team efforts and an improvement in overall prepraration and professionalism. We want to recognize that the season wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of our staff, the support from judges and LHS, and the sponsors who continue to invest in PiE. We also want to thank all of the dedicated teachers, mentors, and parents who help our students succeed and thrive in STEM.