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AutomationDirect Supplies Automated Trophies for GRITS Robotics Competition

AutomationDirect supports STEM education, including competitive robotics at the local, regional and national levels. For the second year in a row, in addition to sponsoring the annual Georgia Robotics Invitational Tournament and Showcase (GRITS) competition, AutomationDirect also provided
the very unique trophies awarded to the winners.

What is GRITS?

GRITS is a one-day event, produced by GeorgiaFIRST Robotics, the arm of US FIRST that promotes FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC) in Georgia. This year’s game, “Aerial Assist”, took place at the World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia on Oct 4th, 2014.[hozbreak]GRITS-trophies_5x7-lowres[hozbreak]

The 2014 trophies use Contrinex™ light curtains to actuate a progression of blinking Cutler Hammer™ stack lights and Werma™ signal beacons.  The sequencing is controlled by a CLICK PLC™ and the entire trophy is powered by a Rhino™ power supply.  In fact, all the electrical components used to build the trophies are standard AutomationDirect products.  The light curtains are mounted to the trophy using custom, 3D printed brackets designed by an AutomationDirect intern and former FIRST FRC Team member.  Trophies were awarded to the competition winners (an alliance of four robotics teams), as well as team awards for Spirit, Outreach and Coopertition®.

Coopertition is a concept unique to FIRST Robotics. According to the FIRST Web site, “Coopertition is displaying unqualified kindness and respect in the face of fierce competition. Coopertition is founded on the concept and a philosophy that teams can and should help and cooperate with each other even as they compete.”

AutomationDirect hopes that by providing these unique trophies, the teams and students will be inspired not only to compete but also cooperate with and learn from each other, and to display the gracious professionalism that is expected at all FIRST competitions.

 See the trophies in action below:[hozbreak][videoembed type=”youtube” align=”aligncenter” width=”640″ height=”360″ url=”″ id=”0″][hozbreak]

GeorgiaFIRST Robotics engages kids in the creative ‘hands-on, minds-on” process of technological innovation. Their goal is to get kids excited about science and technology, attend one of our prestigious institutes of higher learning, and upon graduation, stay in Georgia for their careers. By doing this, GeorgiaFIRST is able to “put Georgia first”. GeorgiaFIRST is a non-profit organization emphasizing, “Our best resource, our youth, contribute to the growth and sustainability of our innovative work force.” Learn more at

About FIRST Robotics Competitions (FRC):

Considered the “Varsity Sport for the Mind”, FIRST Robotics Competitions combine the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand”, hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. It’s as close to “real-world engineering” as a student can get. Volunteer professional mentors lend their time and talents to guide each team. For more information, visit First Robotics

About AutomationDirect:

In business since 1994, AutomationDirect is a distributor offering thousands of industrial automation products for electrical control systems, including PLCs, operator interfaces, AC drives, motors, stepper systems, sensors, motor control, enclosures and more. Their prices are typically well below the list price of more traditional automation companies because of their model and focus on efficiency and the majority of their products are stocked for fast shipping. Plus, get free two-day delivery on orders over $49; some limitations apply. For more information, contact them at 800-633-0405 or visit[hozbreak]