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Cimcorp-sponsored MakeShift Robotics team wins prestigious award

May 17, 2017 Cimcorp North America

High school team finishes successful 2017 season, wins Chairman’s Award and is ranked top in Ontario and the world with robot, Pepper

GRIMSBY, Ontario — Cimcorp, manufacturer and integrator of turnkey robotic gantry-based order fulfillment and tire-handling solutions, announces its sponsored high school robotics team, MakeShift Robotics, and its robot, Pepper, has completed another successful year of competing in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions. FIRST inspires students to pursue exciting careers in science and technology.

Founded in 2011, MakeShift Robotics is a team of high school students from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario led by Cimcorp’s Engineering Team Manager Matt Alderson. The team has accomplished the following during their 2017 season:

  • Named champions at all three of their Ontario District Competitions in Toronto, London and Hamilton.
  • Won the Chairman’s Award at the Ontario District Championships, which is the most prestigious award in FIRST and honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST.
  • Went into the District Championships ranked first out of 145 teams in Ontario as well as in the top two percent of teams worldwide.
  • Made it all the way to the quarter-finals of the FIRST Robotics World Championships. Pepper was selected as one of the event’s premiere “gear-bots” and picked third out of the 68 teams in the “Curie” division.
  • Competed in April in St. Louis in the Steamworks challenge and finished the season with an offensive power ranking of 50th out of more than 3,300 teams worldwide.

Matt Alderson, MakeShift Robotics’ Founder and Lead Mentor and Cimcorp’s Engineering Team Manager, says,

“I am so proud of the MakeShift Robotics team and how they have performed this season. It is an honor to mentor these students and share the gift of robotics as a way to inspire and educate them to become the future workforce of engineers, programmers, marketers and entrepreneurs.”

MakeShift Robotics started with 12 students and was the first team in the Hamilton Catholic Board. In 2017, the group’s sixth year, there are over 30 students on the team and more than 27 FIRST teams in the board, with more than a third of these students being girls. Over the last five years, the students have won a number of awards and titles, including division finalist and semi-finalist at the FIRST World Championships. 97 percent of MakeShift Robotics graduates have gone on to purse post-secondary education in science and technology.


FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21st century work-life skills. Read more about the Impact of FIRST.

About Cimcorp

Cimcorp Group – part of Murata Machinery, Ltd. (Muratec) – is a leading global supplier of turnkey automation for intralogistics, using advanced robotics and software technologies. As well as being a manufacturer and integrator of pioneering material handling systems for the tire industry, Cimcorp has developed unique robotic solutions for order fulfillment and storage that are being used in the food & beverage, retail, e-commerce, FMCG and postal services sectors. With locations in Finland, Canada and the United States, the group has around 300 employees and has delivered over 2,000 logistics automation solutions. Designed to reduce operating costs, ensure traceability and improve efficiency, these systems are used within manufacturing and distribution centers in 40 countries across five continents.