Robotics Team Participates in FIRST Robotics Competition

The school’s robotics team participated in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) organization’s Robotics Competition at San Jose State University yesterday, March 31. The team did exceptionally well, placing 5th out of the 50 teams that entered the competition.

“We did very well, especially for our team,” senior Jamshed Vesuna said. “There are 50 teams that go to each Regional, and this year we were leading in first place for almost the entire competition.”

Every year, the FIRST Association announces a new game on January 7 that the robotics team must prepare for. This year, the high school teams assembled robots fit for a game similar to basketball, called Rebound Rumble. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible in different levels of hoops. The team can get a maximum of three points per basket for the highest hoop, out of four basketball hoops with varying heights.

Instead of real basketballs, the robots use foam balls. With three bridges similar to a seesaw in the middle of the court, the robot must collect balls from the opposing side of the court, bring it back, and attempt to shoot baskets to gain the most points for the team.

Finishing in the top eight teams gave the Los Altos team the advantage of forming alliances. Although the competition attracted teams from around the world, including teams from high schools in Mexico and Brazil, the Los Altos team decided to team up with Palo Alto High School and a high school in Idaho.

The team hopes to improve on their successful finish this year with an even higher placement in next year’s robotics competition.

“It’s a pretty big secret each year what it is,” Jamshed said. “The year before last year was a soccer-type game. It depends year to year, but [the games] are usually fun.”