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 Prepares for Upcoming Competition Season

The robotics team has started to prepare for its upcoming competition season. Ever since January 5, when the competition theme of “Ultimate Ascent” was announced, the team has been working on creating a robot that can perform specific tasks during the games.

Every year, there is a different game theme for the robotics competitions. The game this year, called “Ultimate Ascent,” combines the two games of Ultimate Frisbee and climbing and integrates them into a robotics environment. The objective of the game is to have the competing robots complete two tasks: shoot frisbees into goals and climb as high as possible on a steel pyramid.

Due to the competition rules, teams only have six weeks to build a complete robot. During sessions held from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m., members do everything from building the robot, to training new members, to strategizing for individual matches.

“We have a lot of new members this year so these daily meetings are crucial for teaching them how to do basic robotics,” robotics team Co-captain senior Lucien Muller said.

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At first, the team planned to make a robot that would efficiently carry out both tasks. However, they quickly realized that the robot would be too complicated to build. The team then had a scoring analysis session, which led them to concentrate more on shooting the frisbees accurately rather than climbing up to a high level on the pyramid.

The robot has a pick-up device that can lift frisbees from the ground and store them into a hopper that is capable of holding four frisbees at a time. The shooter then shoots the frisbees from the hopper.

The team predicts that the creation of this robot will be much more difficult than previous years. A new rule was added to the competition this year that restricts the size of competing robots. This year, the dimensions of the robot can be no bigger than 31 by 25 inches, as opposed to the previous restriction of 38 by 28 inch robots.

“We have a lot less space to work with this year, which is proving to be pretty difficult to deal with,” robotics team Co-captain senior Adam Evard said.

However, the team has a lot of members this year who do robotics outside of the club and are expected to contribute to the club’s progress. Club membership has increased after the addition of a robotics class.

The team hopes for a successful season with its new team and robot. It will be entering two regional competitions, the Davis and Silicon Valley competitions, for a chance to compete in the national tournament at St. Louis.

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