Retooled Robot Wrecks Competition


Boss Bots dominate at their second regional qualifiers on January 19.

Natalie Li, News Editor

The “Boss Bots” robotics team clinched their 1st win of the season at the regional qualifying tournament on January 19. Teams from around Northern California competed in this US First Tech Challenge competition at Jefferson High School in Daly City.

According to senior Laura Gustafson, the Boss Bots started off randomly paired with other teams, played the 4th seeded team, and won its respective bracket. In the finals, the team won all of its matches as a part of the winning alliance. “Our robot was relatively tankish and was able to effectively push around the other robots,” she said.

The reason for the team’s success lies in the changes to the robot’s design, according to sophomore Kourosh Arasteh. “The difference was that the modifications to the robot helped it adapt to the competition. We recognized what was working and was successful,” he said. “We changed the lifting mechanism to make it faster, more reliable, and more precise.” According to the Gustafson, the claw design was “very well done.”

Teams are required to design their robot to fit in an 18 by 18 inch cube, and the “Boss Bots” took advantage of its size. In the final round of the competition, according to Arasteh, the team used their robot’s size to their advantage, as a ram. This year’s challenge is to make the robots place rings from their respective stations onto stands, and in the last 30 seconds of a round, there is the opportunity to receive extra points by blocking and lifting other teams’ robots. “We had the steadiest robot because of this lifting mechanism,” said Arasteh.

Though proud of the team’s success, Arasteh believes in staying ahead of the game. “As the competition goes on, other teams innovate on their robot designs, and we need to innovate our robot to make sure it is the most efficient at the given task,” he said.

According to club advisor Nita Madra, team members were enthusiastic during the tournament and excited about the win. The Robotics club has done well since its initiation in 2006, qualifying for the FTC World Championship in 2011 and 2012. “There have been a greater number of students joining the club and going to the qualifiers, and they have created more interest,” she said.

Boss Bots’s next competition will be held on Saturday, January 26, at the Innovation Hub in Livermore.