The Arlington High School NeoBots Team 2903 was a subdivision winner in the FIRST Robotics Competition Championship, held April 19-22 in Houston. Their four-team alliance finished fourth overall. More than 400 teams competed.
“This was the NeoBots’ first trip to the world championship and it was a great honor just to make it to the finals,” mentor Mark Ehrhardt said.
Other local teams that competed at worlds were the Mountlake Terrace High School Chill Out Team 1778; Jackson High School Jack in the Bot Team 2910; Glacier Peak High School Sonic Squirrels Team 2930; and Cedar Park Christian School Bothell Robotics Team 3663.
Jackson robot driver Caleb Hayes maneuvered the Jack in the Bot robot to a ninth-place offensive power rating out of 67 robots in their division, a measure of scoring power.
Glacier Peak’s Sonic Squirrels ranked in the top 12 percent overall, finishing with a 7-2-1 record. The Squirrels served as an alliance captain.
The Chill Out team from Mountlake Terrace finished ninth in their subdivision of 67 teams, and also enjoyed a stint as an alliance captain.
“The team had to learn how to compete alongside alliance partners from from Australia, Turkey, Mexico, China, and other parts of the U.S.,” Chill Out coach Scott Davidson said. “Even though teams have come from different cultures and speak different languages, the common gameplay is enough to overcome the other communication barriers as they work together as an alliance during matches.”
This year’s theme was the steampunk-like “STEAMworks,” which imagined using steam power to prepare airships for long-distance races. Robots had to be collect “fuel” (balls) and deliver them to a “boiler,” then deliver gears to “airship pilots” and turn a crank to start the “rotor,” and finally ascend a rope to signal they were ready to “take off.”
Students also used the trip to research college and career opportunities and took tours of the NASA Space Center.
At an earlier regional championship held in Yakima, Cedar Park was a finalist, Jackson won a Gracious Professionalism Award, and Mountlake Terrace won an Innovation in Control Award.
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