Robotics Earns World Championship Trip

Lena Kauffman, Staffer

Robotics team “Boss Bots” won the Northern California Championships for the US First Tech Challenge competition on Sunday, March 4. The competition took place at Newark Memorial High in Fremont. Because of their placement in the competition, the Boss Bots earned a spot in the world championships.

The Boss Bots, or team 524, consists of Maks Tsvetkov, Sammie Wang, Ryan Smolkin, Meera Madra, Koroush Arasteh, and Sam Lee. Also participating was team 523, or “SMG,” a team of mainly underclassmen, including Matthew Stickle, Laura Gustafson, Ryan Morelli, Vincent Wong, Jared Mano, and Ernie Yeung.

“SMG,” which stands for Stickle, Moralli and Gustafson, competed in the qualifying round, but did not make it to the finals.

Wang, the Boss Bots’ team captain, said, “I felt that our team performed spectacularly at the NorCal Championships. We beat out the competition throughout the day and ended during the finals with a nerve-racking breakdown, which we were able to fix. Now that we are qualified, we are back to work on improving our robot and making sure everything is working and lubed.”

The competition consisted of 32 teams from Northern California. All of the teams present previously qualified at another tournament.

The event for Campo began at 5:00 pm on Saturday night, when the robot was inspected and the team was interviewed. Sunday morning, the event reopened at 7:30 am.

During the competition, teams were randomly selected in pairs to compete in qualifying rounds. Their challenge, which they have been working on all year, was to design a robot to collect and lift up raquetballs on a 12X12 foot course. For the first thirty seconds of the competition, the robot must run automatically. After that, it is guided with a remote control.

Tsvetkov said, “ It’s been an amazing experience being able to win the NorCal championships for the second year in a row and having the opportunity to fly to St. Louis to compete against other teams from 13 countries all over the world. As a team we’re super excited to go compete at worlds and before the completion there are just a few little things that we’re going to have to do on the robot. Mainly fixing up some parts that were slightly worn or damaged during the championships.”

The world championships will take place from April 25-28 in St. Louis, Missouri.