The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Robotics Team 114 places seventh at World Championships; celebrates best season yet

LAHS Team 114 examines their robot at the Houston Championships.

Los Altos High School Robotics Team 114 fought their way to seventh place in their division at the Worlds Tournament Championships in Houston, the best the team has done in its 27-year history.

Team 114 placed seventh in their division of 40 teams from across the world, marking a triumphant end to the year. The team swept through matches starting from the San Francisco Regional on Thursday, March 7, where they won their 10 games undefeated, ranking first in the competition. Team 114 then won fourth place in the East Bay Regional on Thursday, April 4, one of the hardest competitions this year according to co-captain senior Kyle Stadler. Despite losing the final rounds in Idaho on Saturday, March 23, the team still placed first in qualification matches, allowing them to move on to Houston. 

“[Doing well this year meant] not just the World’s ranking of seventh, but it’s ranking high in each competition we’ve been to,” Kyle said. “If we’re able to maintain this caliber, a lot of other teams will recognize us.”

After the loss in Idaho, Team 114 adopted a better climbing system, allowing the robot to climb towers more easily during the endgame, when extra points can be earned scaling the team’s chain towers at the center of the field. Coding-wise, the robot’s pre-programmed path for the 15-second autonomous period at the start of each game was improved to better align with the team’s strategy.

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Still, Team 114 avoided making significant mechanical changes to their robot because a major focus of this year’s strategy was consistency.

“I was traumatized by how inconsistent we were [in previous seasons] — we would always be dead on the field, the last one to put our robots on the field, and stuff would always be breaking,” Kyle said. “I wanted to make sure those failures would never happen again.”

This year, before the tournaments, the team took extra time to make sure every mechanism was working properly. The team often ran through full matches on their practice field in East Palo Alto.

Instead of focusing on mechanical updates, Team 114 developed new competition strategies, such as improvements in driving the robot during games and more efficient ways to gain more points.

The team recognized that the Houston championships would be more challenging than the other tournaments they’ve done so far.

“The level of play at Worlds is significantly higher than any sort of regional competition,” computer-aided design lead junior Yanai Levin said. “During the start of each match, our robot would beam to the center of the field, and we hoped that it wouldn’t break if it hit another robot on the way there.”

Team 114 members describe Houston as an exciting experience, especially highlighting the scale of the tournament.

“It was such a cool experience to go to a competition with thousands of kids all packed into a single convention room,” Yanai said. “There are people from different countries or different backgrounds. I traded a bunch of [team] shirts, you get a bunch of them [from other teams].”

During the 2024 Season, LAHS robotics played a total of 56 official matches, winning 45 and losing 11.

For more on LAHS robotics, visit their website at

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