Robotics team participates in competition

By Lauren Seo

The robotics team made their debut at the First Robotics Challenge, coming in at 21st place at the regional competition Feb. 13 to 15.

This is the team’s first year since 2005 participating in this program sponsored by the U.S. For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology organization.

However, as all past members and the faculty supervisor have since left the school, the team was breaking new ground, team captain Ian Cinnamon ’10 said.

Sixty-one high school teams competed in the challenge, which changes each year.

In this year’s “Lunacy” challenge, six robots raced around a “crater” approximately the size of a tennis court during rounds which lasted two minutes and 15 seconds.

A robot scored points by picking up from the ground balls called “moon rocks,” “empty cells” and “super cells” and throwing them into the containers of the other robots, each ball having a different color corresponding with a different value.

The robots were all roughly five feet tall and weighed 120 pounds, making for a chaotic scene.

“Imagine 60 huge robots racing around and throwing around colored balls,” Cinnamon said. “It was kind of crazy.”

Team members Rohun Bansal ’10, Chase Basich ’11, Spencer Gordon ’10, Max Korbel ’09, Brendan Kutler ’10, Josh Oreman ’09, Justin Shafa ’09 and Andrew Wang ’10 had six weeks to prepare for the event.

Supervised by science teacher Karen Hutchison, they met once a week to design and construct the robot.

Despite the limited amount of practices, Cinnamon believes that the team did very well for a first-year team. At one point they even beat last year’s world champions, who call themselves the Beach Bots.

“Some of the teams there had been working 24/7, literally sleeping at school for six weeks,” Cinnamon said. “I’m extremely proud of how we did, especially because we’ve never had to build something like this before.”