It shoots! It scores! Robotics challenge announced

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Students from several Southwest Washington schools gathered at Evergreen High School Saturday to learn what their robot will have to do in a competition.

They’re building a full-sized robot that is partially controlled by movement using Microsoft’s Kinect 3D sensors.

More than 50 teams from Oregon and Southwest Washington are registered in the FIRST Robotics Competition this year.

The specifics of the challenge was revealed Saturday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Local teams at Evergreen received their kits to build a robot that can shoot hoops.

Kim Davis, a spokeswoman for Oregon FIRST, said the robot will have to score baskets. Each end of the court will have four baskets of varying heights; the higher the basket the more the shot will be worth. When outside of the key, the robot will also have to interact with other robots by, for example, blocking a shot.

On March 9, the teams meet at Memorial Coliseum in Portland for the regional competition. The top six teams from the contest will advance to nationals.

Local teams are from Evergreen High School, Camas High School, Skyview High School and a Battle Ground-based squad participating through Clark County 4-H.