THE future arrived in Gladstone on Saturday in the form of robots.
Four high schools from the region competed in the First Tech Challenge at the CQUniversity Leo Zussino building.
Toolooa State High School and Biloela State High School won the challenge against Tannum Sands State High School and Gladstone State High School.
Tannum Sands student Kruize Leahy said his team's robot had what was needed to win the competition.
"We have a claw, two motors for the wheels and a structurally sound frame," he said.
"Toolooa are the ones to watch out for. Their robot is really fast and they are good at controlling it."
The challenge required the teams to pair up with their robots and complete tasks to score points.
The first 30 seconds of the challenge, the robots autonomously navigated the field and after that the teams took control.
In between challenges the teams made alterations or repairs.
Challenge co-ordinator Nathan Beveridge said the contest gave students an opportunity they may not have been aware of.
"A lot of kids want to be sports stars but there are not many positions for them out there to do it," he said.
"This program shows them a creative and fun career where they can actually get a job."
Matt Saunders from Bechtel, which sponsors the event, said the challenge was about engaging children in science and technology.
"It's a great opportunity for young minds to get together," he said.
"It's about investing in young people for the future."
Toolooa and Biloela schools have now qualified for the national competition to be held on December 6 in Sydney.