Robotics club starts offseason project, plans to join competitions

The robotics club has started its offseason project and decided to enter one more tournament in addition to competing in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition in Long Beach.

This year’s offseason project consists of building autonomous robots. Members were divided into groups of five to six students, and each group is building its own vehicle.

Each robot will drive along a track built by club adviser and science teacher Karen Hutchison. Using built-in computer programs, robots will drive themselves through the track course and around obstacles while following a colored tape on the track.

Each vehicle may create or drop obstacles for other competitors that will not permanently damage or destroy other robots. Liquids cannot be released from the robots, and each one has to complete the track course twice.

“We’re building VEX robots, and we’re going to race them,” co-captain William Lee ’14 said. “It’s kind of just an experience for people to learn how to build robots. VEX is a company that makes custom-made parts, and we bought four sets of parts to build the cars. We’re using computers to control them.”

The club will also compete at the FIRST Robotics Competition March 20-24. As of now, the club is not sure of what they are building because tournament rules have not been released.

For the first time, the team, nicknamed the Wafflebots, plans to compete in another tournament and are choosing from competitions in Hawaii and Las Vegas.

Co-captains Lee and Frank Yeh ’14 agree that they are most excited for the end of each competition. As a club tradition, the team goes out to Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles after competing.

“The autonomous phase of the competition is the most crazy time because you just get to see everything in action,” safety captain Daniel Palumbo ’14 said. “All of your work going into play, all on its own, and you just sit back and watch the magic. It’s pretty awesome. It’s a magical time.”

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