Robot Earns Top Design Honor


Sheila Teker, Staff Writer

The Robotics Club earned the design award at Google’s VEX Robotics Competition in Sunnyvale on January 19.

The competition consisted of several events, according to club president sophomore Rohan Phadnis. In the 1st round, the robot had to move using pre-programmed instructions and sensor inputs.

The 2nd round consisted of a 2-minute driver control period where the robot had to complete specific tasks. This year’s challenge was to build a robot which stacked blocks onto a foundation to construct a tower.

Phadnis said, “Our robot was the only 1 that could stack 3 blocks 1 atop each other, and it was awesome.”

Unfortunately, they did not rank as well overall, and Phadnis blamed this on the fact that they “unnecessarily scored so many penalty points.”

The club was especially proud of their robot’s design. Phadnis said, “It took us about a month of dedicated working to actually get it to work. ”

Sophomore club member Ian Grover said that the arm, which has a wide claw to grip blocks, could elevate in order to reach higher and stack them.

Phadnis explained, “Some of the specialities and things I’m really proud of on this robot are, firstly, the mecanum wheels. They are not just plain wheels, they have rollers on them, which enable the robot to move sideways, and forward and backward, so they can do any range of motion, including sideways and diagonally.”

Grover and Phadnis were also happy with the robot’s ability to multitask, which they believed was a major factor in their success at the competition.

Another member of the club, sophomore Ari Jacobs, said the experience “was pretty fun and educational.” What was a disappointment, however, was that not many club members showed up for the competition, which he added “was very important.”

The team’s goal for next year is to reduce the number of penalty points.