Cuttlefish wins early competition

November 28, 2016 — by Leena Elzeiny and Michelle Lee

The Cuttlefish, one of four First Tech Challenge teams the school has this year, turned their hours of design, coding and construction into an 18-inch-by-18 inch robot during a competition at Sequoia High on Nov. 6. They were accompanied by the three other fish-themed SHS teams, Team Jellyfish, Team Cuttlefish and Team Betafish.

 
 

The Cuttlefish, one of four First Tech Challenge teams the school has this year, turned their hours of design, coding and construction into an 18-inch-by-18 inch robot during a competition at Sequoia High on Nov. 6. They were accompanied by the three other fish-themed SHS teams, Team Jellyfish, Team Cuttlefish and Team Betafish.

At the competition, the SHS teams, as well as 12 others, strived to accomplish simple goals on the field. Points were awarded when robots pushed buttons, raised a yoga ball into a bucket, parked using only software and shot balls. Each round, two teams were randomly selected to go against two other teams.

During the competition, Team Cuttlefish raised the ball over 50 inches, an objective called capping that awarded them 40 points. Combined with their alliance’s points, Cuttlefish won eight out of their nine matches, leading them to win first place.

“The capping mechanism made us unique and it didn’t conflict with any of the other robots,” Garg said.

By winning first place in the tournament, Team Cuttlefish will be able to attend NorCal Regionals and from there maybe move on to nationals.

However, Team Cuttlefish worries that capping the ball will not be enough for future tournaments. They have consequently signed up for a tournament in January in order to give them time to create a faster, more efficient version of the capping mechanism. They plan to completely scrap the original version, which picked up the ball by lifting it like a spoon, and go with a version that will clamp onto the ball.

“If we have an active grabber, instead of just a forklift, it will be a lot better, a lot faster, and overall a lot more points,” said freshman Sahaj Rastogi, head of the software team.

While the upcoming tournament requires major updates to their robot, Garg said the overall event was a success.

“Going to the first tournament was a learning experience because you know a lot more of what is going to happen going forward,” said Garg. “You learn different strategies, different ideas on what you can do in the future.”

 
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