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City supports robotics competitions, which bring tourism dollars to town


Above, the Robowranglers competed in February of 2020, one of the last major robotics events before COVID shut schools down last spring.

City supports robotics competitions, which bring tourism dollars to town

When the robots descend on Greenville, they always bring an entourage of thousands of humans with them. And those humans are very, very good for business. They fill up hundreds of hotel rooms, shop, eat out and generally spend an abundance of money.

Robotics competitions, many of which have been hosted at Greenville High School, have grown into such major tourism events that the City of Greenville has allotted $20,000 from its Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) fund to help with the expenses associated with the event.

GISD Robotics Director Adrienne Emerson recently presented to the Tourism and Convention Board, sharing details about the hundreds of volunteers, judges and students who play important roles in making the event run smoothly. Tuesday night, the City Council gave the final OK.

"We are just excited to be able to have a premiere robotics event like this in Greenville and to have the support of the city behind us," She said. "Our biggest event is the FIRST robotics competition. We also run several smaller events, including VEX events for our younger robotics students. The most important part for us is the tremendous mix of fun and learning for our students, and the financial benefit for the city is the icing on the cake."

This year's competition is Infinite Recharge, and the Robowranglers' sharp-shooting competitor is Revolver.

To see Revolver and other robots in action, click HERE to see video at the March 8 competition, one of the last competitions to be held before COVID-19 put the events on hold.