Robotics: Cuttlefish swim into World Championships

March 26, 2019 — by Jackson Green

Junior Brandon Nguyen works on a Cuttlefish robot in January. 

The 15 members of the M-SET Cuttlefish FTC Team, coached by parent Anh-Quan Nguyen, recently became the first FTC team in school history to make it to the FIRST World Championships.

At the NorCal FTC Regional Competition on March 3 at Independence High School, the Cuttlefish were able to bring home the Inspire Award and qualify for the FIRST World Championships in Houston from April 17-20.

“The Inspire Award is given to the team that has the most outreach, the best overall teamwork and a good robot,” junior robot driver Brandon Nguyen said. “It shows we’re the best team in general.”

The team has been preparing for regionals since last summer, where they went to various summer camps and tech companies to promote FIRST Programs.

Then, at the start of the season, they got to work building a robot up to the task, which this year includes a variety of mechanical challenges. These include lifting the robot up and down from a hook, picking up various objects and putting them in baskets, and using sensors to differentiate between colored balls and cubes.

“We’ve been hard at work building our robot,” senior team captain Derek Chiou said. “We’ve been making revisions, iterating through code and ultimately improving our robot so that we could perform well at regionals.”

The team managed to get to the championship thanks to hard work.

“We put in a lot of hours,” Nguyen said. “The week before regionals, we spent almost 60 hours in the room; some of us probably spent a little more.”

Going forward, the Cuttlefish plan to revise their robot to perform even better at the world championship.

“Our robot was relatively solid at regionals, but it wasn’t as good as it could have been,” Chiou said. “So, we’re going to take the parts of our robot that were not as optimal off of it and improve them.”

Ultimately, the team is thrilled to be going to the world championship.

“It feels great to be going to worlds,” junior hardware team member Katherine Peng said. “We’ve been working for three years to get this opportunity."


Nice Job, Guys! Keep up the Good Work!

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