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April 22, 2015

Joa-Sponsored Robotics Team Places Second at Regional Competition

Team Included Six Joa Employees and Students

RoboRiot 3418, a robotics team of local high school students that includes three student employees from Joa, placed second at the state’s regional competition held on March 19-21 at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin Panther Arena.

The team, which is sponsored by Curt G. Joa, Inc., comprised of 55 students from eight different Sheboygan County schools. Among those students included Joa student employees Josh Lemahieu, Carver Hass and Eric Burgard.

Helping the students were 21 mentors, including Joa electrical engineers Josh Adams and Steve Oplatek, as well as Joa machine shop foreman Jeff Hass. Adams provided programming support, Hass assisted with the machine shop work and Oplatek helped out in the pits on the day of the competition.

The students had just six weeks to design, prototype, build and program a robot for competition, ensuring it would be ready for the 2015 regional event, where 60 teams from across the Midwest competed.

The competition’s theme, Recycle Rush, required each team’s robot to stack storage totes, recycling cans and pool noodles, which represented litter, on top of each other on a platform in the center of the competition ring. Team’s accumulated points for each object stacked on the platform, with the winner advancing to the second round.

The Roboriot team advanced through the qualification round with 9-0 record, earning an overall ranking of ninth out of 60, and advancing to the final playoffs. In the final playoff round, RoboRiot defeated many higher-seeded teams to secure the runner-up finish.

Since the team’s creation in 2009, Roboriot’s 2015 finish was the team’s best ever, an improvement on last year’s fourth-place performance.

“The RoboRiot students presented themselves in a very competitive, enthusiastic and professional manner throughout the competition,” said Lead Business Mentor Eric Liederbach. “We deeply appreciate all the encouragement and support from Curt Joa, and certainly look forward to next year.”

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