If it's a track meet, 25 feet or even 100 feet is not a long distance to run. The courses presented a good challenge for the robotic athletes, and their middle school handlers at a competition Thursday sponsored by South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative for member schools.

The 55 participants were all enrolled in their school's program for gifted and talented students.

Using kits of specialized Legos, teams of students built robots in any size or shape they thought best and programmed them to do specific tasks. Size and shape affects performance in various contests, so students could reconfigure for each event and reprogram their robots.

The robots' tasks included capturing flags, navigating mazes, staying on a tabletop, hitting targets and playing King of the Hill. In a sumbot tournament, some of the robots were bullies, quickly pushing opponents out of the circle, while other pairs were more evenly matched. The day wrapped up with a dance competition by the robots, with the winners determined by student vote.

"The robotics tournament was a successful event," said Sarah Sanders, assistant director of SCKSEC. "Students were challenged in creating and developing programs for their robots, and displayed their skills in a variety of events. It is great to see students working together incorporating technology."

Local results:

25' sprint

3rd: Ryan Adams, Gabe Flanders and Garrett Novotny, Skyline

100' distance run

2nd: Ryan Adams, Skyline

Target Competition

1st: Brett Huslig, LMS

Capture the Flag tournament

3rd: Donovan Cox and Riley Decker, LMS

King of the Hill

1st: Cooper Gates, Brett Stamy, Tyler Tobin and Carter Smith, Skyline

2nd, 4-way tie: Carson Lee and Jarod DeWeese, Skyline

3rd, 2-way tie: Tanner McGee, Cody Shipley and Jared Stamy of Skyline and Dylan Cox and Brett Huslig, LMS

Sumbot, remote controlled

2nd: Brett Huslig and Dylan Cox, LMS

3rd: Donovan McAbee and Riley Decker, LMS

Sumbot, without remote

1st: Cooper Gates, Brett Stamy, Tyler Tobin, Carter Smith, Skyline


1st, 3-way tie: Corey Crouch and Josie Jensen, Skyline, Tanner McGee, Cody Shipley and Jared Stamy, Skyline

2nd: Carson Lee and Jarod DeWeese, Skyline