GalacTech to host robotics invitational at East in July

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Just a few months after competing in an international championship, a local robotics team is back at work and preparing for another competition not just as a participant, but also as a host.

Team 4926 or “GalacTech” will host the 2022 Indiana Robotics Invitational (IRI) at Columbus East High School on July 16-17. There is no entry fee for spectators, and teams from all over North America have been invited to compete, said Columbus Robotics president and Team 4926 founder Sam Geckler.

The event comes on the heels of a season that was eventful. In April, GalacTech was part of the winning alliance at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Indiana State Championship. The team then competed at the international FIRST Championship in Houston, making it to division playoffs but not the final tournament. More than 450 high school teams from all over the world competed at the 2022 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) championships, including groups from as close as Indianapolis and as far away as Israel.

Team 4926 also had its first-ever home game in March, with Columbus East hosting the first FRC event to ever be held in Columbus.

“It’s been a wild year, that’s for sure,” said Geckler.

While the March event was part of the official season for FIRST, the Indiana Robotics Invitational is an off-season event. According to Geckler, the event has been held for more than 20 years. Teams first apply to compete, and then a certain number are invited to the competition.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.