National Robotics Challenge – 2/22/24

On February 22, I had the privilege of being a judge of the Work Cell Completion at a regional event held by the National Robotics Challenge ( at Bowling Green University. Students from around west central Ohio presented projects utilizing robots in a wide range of events including Robot Sumo, problem solving, autonomous vehicles, and work cells.

One of WCOMP’s Youth Outreach Committee members, Ryan Johnson, an Engineering Coordinator at Honda’s Anna Plant coaches the Allen East Robotics Club. The students meet twice a week after school and work on various projects. Ryan asked if I’d be willing to work as a judge in the regional competition and I reluctantly accepted. Reluctant because, I had no idea of what happens at a robotic competition. Fortunately, the National Robotics Challenge organization sent an instruction manual and prepared me to be a judge. I was assigned to work with
Mike Hawk, a training coordinator from GROB Systems to judge the Work Cell competition.

I can honestly say, seeing this competition was a fantastic experience. I saw automated snack dispensers, can crushers, recycle sorting, color sorting robots, and lift assist devices. The students were from the 5th through 10th grades and the work presented was impressive. They demonstrated skills in design, programming, assembly, and presentation. I was impressed with the skills demonstrated by these young students. With student like the ones in this competition, there is definitely a bright future ahead for manufacturing in west central Ohio.

It was great to see Honda supporting the program by encouraging employee involvement and I am proud to see them as a member of the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Partnership.

Lew Modic
Managing Director