Groveland-based FIRST robotics team All Wired Up competed in the Orlando Regionals FIRST Robotics competition March 10-12.  The competition was held at the Addition Financial Arena on the UCF campus in east Orlando.  There were 57 teams representing the United States and 5 other countries including Turkey, Brazil, and European countries. 


The team is challenged to design, build, and program industrial-size robots and compete for awards, while they also create a team identity, raise funds, hone teamwork skills.  Since January, the team has been building the robot from scratch.  FIRST provides a list of materials and motors that can be used.  It is solely up to the team to design, build, and drive the robot.

The team competed in 4 practice matches on Thursday.  It was decided that robot BOB (“Big Ol’ Bot”) needed some changes and upgrades.  The team was able to implement those changes before the qualifying started on Friday. 

The team competed in 9 qualifying matches total.  Seven on Friday and two on Saturday.  They finished with an overall record 5-4 and ranked 23rd out of 56 teams.  Due to some scoring nuances, they weren’t chosen by the top 8 teams to compete in their 3-team alliances in the playoffs Saturday.  The team was selected as an alternate due to their high relative ranking.

“Despite encountering several unique challenges with the robot on Thursday and Friday; the team stepped up, met the challenges and stayed successful” stated lead mentor Mark Vitek.  “Four of our students drove and competed during the contest: Felipe, Nicky, Grey and Max. Our other 2 students, Robert and Ben, were unfortunately sick. Three of our mentors attended: Mark, Jon and Matt.” 


While on the floor of the main arena at the huge Addition Financial arena, Mr. Vitek was also able to speak with veteran judges and other team mentors.  Mark continues, “the other team members were impressed with the work the students had done in building their distinctive pneumatic cannon used to score balls into the high goal provided.”  The playing field is a complex array of goals, obstacles, and a self-lifting challenge to finish.  The robot had to be designed to complete these tasks and the drivers had to compete with and against 5 other robots in the arena.  “I am very proud of the work done by our team as a team that led to a very good ranking of 23rd out of 57 teams despite being the first competition we’ve attended in our 3 years due to the pandemic.”


The team is accepting new student members for the next season.  Any middle or high school students (public, private, or home schooled) are welcome.  If interested please see information about the team which can be found at THIS LINK or url:

All 9 of our matches can be watched at this YouTube playlist:


FIRST Robotics helps develop Frorida’s high-tech workforce by promoting student growth and encouraging participation in STEM career development.  FIRST® Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. The team is challenged to design, build, and program industrial-size robots and compete for awards, while they also create a team identity, raise funds, hone teamwork skills, and advance respect and appreciation for STEM within the local community. 

Please note that the students are responsible for designing their graphics and website content as well as fundraising.  There are a wide variety of student opportunities to grow and learn outside robot building. 

Previous articleGroveland City Manager Mike Hein Packed The House At The SLCC Breakfast
Next articleDr. Heather Bigard Named As The College’s Next President First Female President In LSSC’s 60-year History