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      Escanaba welcomes the FIRST Robotics competition

      The Escanaba High School gym was filled with over 1,200 people and a few dozen robots.

      â??We are starting to gain some recognition,â?? said Team Deceivers mentor Tyler Postma. â??A lot of people don't realize that we actually have robotics teams in the Upper Peninsulaâ??

      This is the first year the U.P. is hosting a FIRST Robotics competition, and the first time many of the students are visiting our home.

      â??I mean I've never been up here,â?? said Bedford Express team member Ethan Bellino. â??I've never crossed the bridge to the Upper Peninsula. It's a great experience, it really is."

      Teams had the opportunity to choose which competition location they attended. All 36 teams had their own reasons for choosing Escanaba.

      We'd rather come up here,â?? said Cody Schlampp, Army of Sum team member. â??It's just a more fun, natural environment for us being a smaller town, being able to compete against other smaller towns.

      The U.P. teams enjoyed the convenience as well as the money saved not having to travel quite so far.

      The public is encouraged to attend this free, family friendly event.

      "You should really come and visit the Escanaba competition,â?? Bellino said. â??It's great to watch robots and you get to see other people competing, you get to see the people controlling the robots and its just great to see the machinery work"

      The competition continues Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.