Robotics advances towards regionals

Working toward its regional robotics competition at Cal State Northridge Saturday, the robotics team won a scrimmage Dec. 2 and “made some major damage,”  team captain Justin Chow ’07 said.

For the victory, the team was awarded $350, but will donate the money to another team since they already have been granted money by the school.

Going in, the Wolverine team was ranked 36 out of the 43 competing teams, but came away victorious.

The mission for all competing teams is to create an 18-inch robot that can transport softballs into a goal faster and more efficiently than opponents’ robots. The robot is controlled by a student driver via a radio frequency joystick controller.

The 11-member team hopes its robot will hang on an elevated bar and dump and shoot the softballs into a high goal.

“It’s almost like soccer, basketball and gymnastics all in one miniature package,” Chow said. “It also involves us to put our heads together and think of an optimal design, make plans for what we need to accomplish, work with real-world electronics, devices, equipment and experience what engineers do.”

The team has already progressed to the quarterfinals, where it will compete in a regional championship that includes about 50 teams from across Southern California. It is organized as a tournament, so teams progress through match-play.

“The whole team is quality material, and I sense serious determination from all members to make it big in the regional championship,” Chow said. “I think the team will establish itself as a formidable contender. Everyone is eager to further the cause of the team, and further their pursuit of knowledge for themselves.”

There are various awards given out at the end of the competition, including a Challenge Inspire Award, and a Challenge Innovate Award, but the highest recognition is an invitation to nationals.