Robotics qualifies for championship


Grace Coleman/Chronicle

In preparation for upcoming tournaments, robotics team 62A works on their robot. The robot has lifts that are used to pick up mobile goals, an important element of robotics competitions.

Grace Coleman

Team 62 (62 Null), the school’s robotics team, qualified for the VEX California State Championship on Nov. 20 and is currently preparing for the competition, which is set to take place March 12.

Team 62 is split into multiple groups that all compete for the school, including teams 62A, 62B, 62G, 62K, 62X and 62Z. Teams 62X and 62A qualified for this year’s State Championship. Last year, team 62B won the 2021 Live Remote VEX Robotics World Championship. The 2022 World Championship will take place in Dallas, TX this year.

62A team member Oren Hartstein ’24 said although members of the team understand the importance of COVID-19 restrictions, they compete with the hope of returning to fully in-person competition. Hartstein said the transition to online competitions was a unique experience.

“It’s interesting to see how the pandemic has morphed robotics into a mixture of online and in-person competitions,” Hartstein said. “Ideally, I would prefer to compete in person. I understand that is not always possible [with rising COVID-19 cases].”

62A team member Kaito De Anda ’24 said his team is now preparing their robot to use in upcoming tournaments.

“We have a signature event, known as a large-scale tournament, coming up,” De Anda said.

It takes a lot of work to win a tournament, but it all becomes worth it with that final score.”

— Dru Reed '24, 62A Member

According to 62X team member Karen Wu ’23, signature events are one of several paths a team can take to qualify for a world championship. Teams can also qualify at state championships and online challenges.

Wu said the team hopes to return to the World Championships this year.

“We are all having fun and enjoy doing robotics,” Wu said. “Some [of the school’s] teams are very hardcore and really doing everything they can to qualify for the world championship.”

Robotics team member Dru Reed ’24 said with longer and more populated tournaments like the upcoming VEX State Championships teams are working hard to improve their robots. Reed said the team’s wins are a result of the effort they put into preparing for their competitions.

“It takes a lot of work to win a tournament, but it all becomes worth it with that final score,” Reed said.

Reed, who has been involved in robotics for four years, said he views the VEX robotics program as a great way to acquire engineering and math skills.

“[VEX robotics] is so much more than a competition,” Reed said. “It teaches methods of engineering that real-world engineers use.”