Robotics team boots up

November 1, 2017 — by Allen Chen

The First Tech Challenge (FTC) competition kicked off on Sept. 9 with the full release of the rulebook, which lays out the requirements of the contest. This year, the SHS teams are using 3-D printing technology to custom craft each component of their robots.

The theme of this year’s games is “Relic Recovery” and each robot will compete to sort and place items, often in specific configurations, into sections of a game field. The four teams of 15 students each have been busy working to build their robot.

The team has six returning members as opposed to only two from last year, so more work is being done per day.

“I am personally very excited because the parts on our robot are a lot cleaner,” junior Derek Chiou said. “The building is going much smoother than last year.”

The use of 3-D printing also allows the team to create most of their design digitally. It also makes the robot much easier to assemble. The robot will be automated for part of the competition and controlled by a driver for the other part.

The team’s score will be largely determined by how many “glyphs,” or 6-inch cubes,  they can collect from a section in the center of the field. Awards will also be given for innovation and robot design, as well as motivation, inspiration and connecting with others.

With the competition set to reach San Francisco in March, the team has a lot of time to program and make changes.

In the past, the team succeeded at regional tournaments, taking awards in every tournament for the past two years.

This year, the team hopes to not only build well, but to reach out to the community and inspire others to join the team.

“While incorporating engineering skills, marketing, and community outreach, the team can strive to its fullest potential to make an impact on the community,”  sophomore Devin Shah said.

FRC, the other branch of robotics, begins in January with a steampunk-themed competition.


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