Robotic Alliance Earns Victory


Lauren Williams, Staff Writer

The Boss Bots, also known as the Robotics Club, participated in their first competition on December 1.

The Play Space FTC Qualifier was held at Play Space facilities in San Jose. The team placed 1st in an alliance with the Evasive Robotics team from Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill. An alliance is made of two teams, who combine the points they earn in the final rounds. Unfortunately, Campolindo will not be advancing because only the “Captain” of the alliance  moves on to the Regional Tournament

Boss Bots was ineligible to be a captain of an alliance since they did not place in the top four spots after they lost preliminary matches. “We lost only preliminary rounds as a result of malfunctions: some motors burnt out after collision and some problems with the gears that turn the wheels meshing correctly,” said junior Kelly Williams.

Boss Bots competed against schools such as Milpitas High, Pioneer High, and Berean Christian. The competition is set up with 20 Preliminary rounds, and each round has three parts. First the robot is run by a computer program, and then two drivers control the robot in order to put blocks in a basket. Finally, the robot is controlled a second time by two drivers, whose objective is to make the robot either raise a flag or hang from a bar.

After the alliance teams are chosen, they compete in the elimination tournament. After best 2 out of 3 match for the semi-final, the winner goes on to the final. Evasive Robotics chose Campolindo as their partner, and went on to win the final round of the competition.

The Team received two awards at the competition: the “Winning Alliance” and “Think” Awards, according to Robotics Club President Kourosh Arasteh. “The Winning Alliance meant that we, along with our teammate 6223, Evasive Robotics, were the champions of the competition,” Arasteh said. The “Think Award” is an “award for the best documentation of evolution of the design,” according to Arasteh.

Arasteh described the path to the world championship: “We usually attend 2-3 qualifier competitions, which take us to the NorCal championship.When we win that we go to the super-regional championship. Then we go to the world championship.” The program selects which qualifier competitions to go to based on the team’s availability and the progress of the robot, according to Arasteh.

“Everyone on the team is driven towards something, whether its software, hardware, or competition itself,” said Arasteh.

The team has several new members this year. “In terms of recruitment, I reached out to a lot of my friends this year to get involved, so we have a high concentration of juniors and quite a few new members that are underclassmen,” added Arasteh.

The Play Space is a unique building designed for robotics competitions and co-owned by Playing at Learning and California FIRST, companies who support robotic competitions.