Team THRUST 1501 takes Silver at Connecticut Regional

Huntington County 4-H Robotics, Team THRUST 1501 takes Silver at the Northeast Utilities FIRST Connecticut Regional this past weekend. Team THRUST sponsored by UTEC Huntington, Indiana visited Connecticut to compete alongside 23 of the 35 teams sponsored by United Technologies Corporate. Dr. J. Michael McQuade, Senior Vice President of UTC Research Center in Hartford, Connecticut, acknowledged Team THRUST during opening ceremonies Saturday morning as an Indiana team that traveled far to compete with all the other UTC teams this weekend. Dr. McQuade stopped by THRUST robot pit for a video interview and to visit with the 2010 students members. Gracie Fowler, Student Marketing Leader, spoke with Dr. McQuade about the team history, involvement with the community and skills learned from local UTEC engineers. The students and Fowler thanked Dr. McQuade and UTC for the corporate and local sponsorship as well as all the engineering mentors UTEC Huntington, Indiana has provided the team as past support.

THRUST also earned the Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers for it’s Police Robot “Fred” that was donated to the Huntington Police Department last summer. A video of the award presentation can be viewed here –  (provided by John Paff)


THRUST finished up the weekend seeding 4th overall out of 56 robots. THRUST selected Gaelhawks 230 and Shifters Team 61 to join their alliance in a battle to the finals. THRUST lost 7-10 in Finals 1 and lost 4-7 in Finals 2 with a double elimination bracket rounds bringing home the Silver Medal and 2nd place overall for the Northeast Utilities FIRST Connecticut Regional. Team 1124 the Uberbots of Avon Connecticut, Team 383 the Brazilian Maching of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, and Team 102 the Gearheads of Somerville, NJ took home the gold.  The Brazilian team had registered for Connecticut as well. “They certainly had the better robot, Brazil’s robot was similar to ours in soccer ball handling, kicking and maneuverability, but they had a slick lifter mechanism that would attach to the tower and climb for an additional 2 points. Something we had thought of in our design, but ran out of physical space in our tiny triangle robot.” “As we all watched the finals match, we felt good that Brazil’s robot deserved Gold but not without putting up a good fight.” quotes from several of the students of the team.

“This was certainly one of the most memorable season ever, as we’ve won two major awards from the Purdue Boilermaker Regional, one major award from Connecticut Regional and finally ending the 2010 season with a 2nd place finish at the Regional level.” Lead mentor Chris Elston says. “We were looking for gold at regional so we could play at the world finals in Atlanta, but the bright side is the kids learned a lot of life skills along the way. I think with any competition, a wise person once said, you’ve got to lose some in order to know how to win some.”

1 Response to “Team THRUST 1501 takes Silver at Connecticut Regional”

  1. 1 Ted Kliszczewicz Mentor for Team 174

    Great to see a UTC outsider do so well in Hartford, Conn. Mentors, wear that badge of Honor Proudly!

    It is also great to see how the student’s ideads can be made into pieces and parts then assembled into a robot that is tested against other robots and is succesfful. Student and Mentos have to be proud of what it took to great there.

    It will be efforts like this that will keep the USA #1 in the world.

    Keep up all the great work!

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