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      Escanaba students build robot for competition

      A team of 15 Escanaba high schoolers is taking part in a national robotics competition where they're building a multi-function robot from scratch.

      "Pretty much ever since I was born, I've loved anything mechanical," said Escanaba Senior Simon Rose. "Anything with moving parts - electronics, blinking lights, that kind of stuff just draws me right in, so when I heard about Robotics Club, I was like yeah, I'm doing that."

      They're assisted by professionals from Escanaba manufacturer, EMP, who guide the students through the process.

      "We have three mentors," said EMP Automation Engineer Jake Denkins. "Each one of us is leading a group. We have a mechanical build, an onboard electronics group, and then we have a wireless group."

      The first challenge is to engineer the robot to be able to place inner tubes on a post.

      Next comes a manually-driven phase. For that, the mechanical build team assembled an aluminum tower. This takes patience and teamwork.

      "I'm hoping that we can all get experience with teamwork, definitely," Rose said. "You know, just working with other people, being tolerant of other people. Even if you don't get along with them, you know, you still have to do that."

      The main objective for the high school robotics team is to have their robot be able to place inner tubes on hooks of different heights.

      We'll have the results of the contest here on our website as soon as they come in. The contest is taking place Friday and Saturday in Traverse City.