Starkville High School RoboJackets freshman Luca Hoffman works on the team’s robot prior to competing at the BEST Robotics hub competition at Mississippi State University Saturday. The RoboJackets came in first place overall.

For another year the Starkville High School RoboJackets BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) Robotics won its hub competition at Mississippi State University.

The team is currently ranked third in the nation out of more than 1,000, and will travel to Auburn University for the BEST Regional competition on Dec. 7. The RoboJackets have competed for nine years, and advanced to regionals for seven. The team includes 45 students from Starkville High School and Armstrong Middle School working on the robot, but also on marketing the team’s robot as a product and an engineering notebook. Teams are additionally judged on spirit, sportsmanship and other factors. This year’s hub competition included 19 teams from across Mississippi plus one from Tennessee, who traveled to Starkville to compete. In addition to the Robojackets, two other Starkville based teams competed, the Starkville Christian Home Educators Eclipse Robotics and Starkville Christian School RoboCougars.

“I’m going to be retiring this year, so this is probably my last one,” said Robo Jackets coach Ty Adair. “I couldn’t be more proud, and every kid did their job. That was what we kind of emphasized ‘everybody do your job,' and they did.”

Ty Adair’s wife, Denise Adair, also coaches the RoboJackets. She said this year’s competition was one of the toughest.

“It’s fantastic,” Denise Adair said. “It was a close game.”

The challenge was titled “Off the Grid.” Teams had to design and build a robot capable of performing simulated electric power repairs to restore power. The team’s robots also had to incorporate an autonomous element for the first year.


For more on this story, read Monday's Starkville Daily News.

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