The Caledonia/Spring Grove Robotic Warriors are heading to their first regional competition of the season at the La Crosse Center on Thursday, April 13, through Saturday, April 15.

Team members have been hard at work making modifications to their robot after a practice scrimmage in February when 18 teams joined them at Caledonia High School and practiced in a simulation of the real competition.

Head coach James Larson said the scrimmage was great, and the team found a few things to work on before going to the regional competition.

“People said it was really great, and that we set the bar high,” he explained.

About 500 students and 150 guests invaded the school on the first day of the scrimmage. The second day saw 400 students and about 300-350 guests.

At the regional competition, the robot will be inspected on Thursday and the team will have a chance to make changes and have it inspected again. They’ll be able to practice on the field before they compete.

The team can also remove 30 pounds from the robot and work on it at the competition.

The gameplay for robots and teams changes every year. This year to gain points, the goal is to deliver fuel by shooting whiffle balls into a “boiler” of a station designed like an airship.

Robots will also deliver gears to the team’s airship that will turn four rotors. When the rotors are spinning, the robot has to hook onto the airship and ascend a rope.

The robot has to run autonomously for the first 15 seconds of the match as programmed previously by students. Then students take over and control the robots for the remaining 2:15 minutes.

Larson said the team is ready and excited for the competition.

The international organization that governs the competitions, rules and parameters for teams is called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST).

Larson said he won’t know the exact time that the team will compete until Thursday. That time will be posted to the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CaledoniaRobotics.

The Seven Rivers Regional competition will start at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday and is open to the public. Admission is free.

For those who cannot attend the competition in person, the competition will be available to watch online at www.thebluealliance.com or www.atthecontrol.com.