Robotics Reach FTC Quarter Finals



Robotics club members Katie Coates, Kourosh Arasteh, and Cary Huang show their robot at the FTC competition in Fulsom.

Sarada Symonds, Editor-in-Chief

The Robotics Club competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Qualifer at the Intel-Folsom campus on December 15. The team made it to the quarterfinals.

Club member Cary Huang was disappointed because they did not go as far as they did in the last competition. According to him, the team was just “unlucky,” and will try to do better in the Regional Qualifier on January 15. If they are successful at regionals, the team will move on to compete in the world championships.

“We need to make first alliance captain, so that’s what we’re going to try to do,” he said.

The competition is set up in a series of rounds. How a robot performs in the first round determines whether the team is “first alliance captain” in the next round. Alliances then work together to combine points in later rounds until the finals.  In the last competition, the Campolindo squad was in the winning alliance, although they were not the team captain.

Robots earn points by putting blocks in baskets or hanging onto metal bars.

According to Huang, it felt intimidating when they saw robots running more complicated programs that his team had chosen not to use. “There were some things we gave up on because they were too hard, like hanging on the bar. Our robot is too heavy for that,” he said. “When we saw other robots doing it, it was disheartening. It was a sad day.”

Creating the robot required several skill sets, including construction and computer programming. Wang worked on the coding. He made the bot drive smoothly, without jerking. “It looks like a tank, but it runs like a Cadillac,” he said.

The robot also runs an autonomous code program, which means it runs the whole competition by itself. Huang worked on the software.

According to Wang, the team has been working on the robot since Club Day in September. The Robotics Club meets every week after school on Friday and Saturday afternoons.