Ontario robotics team wins world championships

Students on a high school robotics team from St. Catharines, Ont. have been crowned world champions after battling more than 1,500 squads for the top spot.

Twenty-five students from Governor Simcoe Secondary School --known as the "Simbotics" -- won the (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition Championship in Atlanta, Ga., last weekend.

"We've been working towards this goal for six years now and the team's pretty ecstatic about it," Greg Phillips, team coach and tech teacher, told CTV.ca on Monday.

More than 37,000 students first competed in 41 regional events around the world.

In January, all of the teams received a kit that included hundreds of parts so that they could build their robots.

The winners of each of the regional events then qualified to move on to the world championships.

This year's competition was based around a game, " Overdrive," which tested the robots' ability to race around a track while knocking down elevated 40" balls.

The robots were also required to move the balls around the track, passing them either over or under a 6'6" overpass.

To win, the Simbotics teamed up with students from Texas and Michigan.

"The concept behind the game is to form a winning strategy with your three alliance teams to beat the other three teams," said Phillips.

"They may be good robots and they may be weak robots but if you understand who you're playing with and who you're playing against, that'll give you an extreme advantage."

Phillips said the event is the largest high school robotics competition in the world.

"It's all the biggest companies in the world that are sponsoring schools to get students interested in science and technology," he said.

"Eighty per cent of our students that graduate go off to post-secondary education in the field of either engineering, mathematics or programming."