The SECON 2009 team traveled to Atlanta to compete at the IEEE SoutheastCon 2009 student hardware competition, along with almost 40 other universities from the 8-state region 3 area. The challenge involved constructing a robot to gather, sort, and store plastic and glass soda bottles and metal cans with no human assistance; the recyclables are placed on a 10' x 10' Astroturf playing field. Although the team's robot performed extremely well in pre-competition testing, a subtlety in the rules disqualified the robot's design. Undaunted, the team spent the entire day and night redesigning and reprogramming the robot in their hotel room, turning the writing desk into a machine shop! However, these major modifications left no time for rigorous testing, resulting in much lower performance during the competition. The team received a well-deserved award for the best electrical design. For additional information, visit the SECON home.