ST. CLOUD -- One of the largest robotics competitions in the nation will be right here in St. Cloud this weekend. The Vex Robotics State Championship is Friday and Saturday at the River's Edge Convention Center.

Tournament Coordinator Aaron Barker says there are about 300 middle school and high school teams across the state. They competed in 36 local events starting back in August to earn points to qualify for state. The top 150 teams will be in town this weekend.

Barker says the St. Cloud metro area will be well represented.

We do, we have a lot of really good teams in the St. Cloud area.  Because it started in this area, we have a lot of really good veteran teams in the area.  We are seeing the competition increase every year, with more and more teams.

Barker says the teams started designing and building their robots last summer, and have been tweaking them throughout the season.

Twenty-five of the teams will earn invites to the Vex Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky in April.

Matches are from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Friday and from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free and it is open to everyone.

This is the 6th year the Vex Robotics State Championship has been held at the River's Edge Convention Center.

Barker is an instructor of robotics and automation at the St. Cloud Technical and Community College.