Robotics win in world championship subdivision marks historic season


Provided by Harker Robotics

The Harker Robotics Team poses next to their robot after winning the Roebling subdivision. The FIRST Robotics Competition took place from Apr. 18 to 21 in Houston, Texas.

by Anika Rajamani, Reporter

The Upper School Robotics team won the Roebling subdivision alongside three alliance partners at the 2018 International FIRST Robotics Competition from Apr. 18 to 21 in Houston, Texas.

Seniors Aria Coalson, Sunny Jayam and Pat Zhong; juniors Ryan Adolf, Carl Gross, Rahul Goyal, Christopher Leafstrand, Joel Manning, David Melisso, Puneet Nayyar, Charles Pun, Alex Wloka and Nemo Yang; sophomores Quentin Clark, Finn Frankis, Jack Jia, Jatin Kohli, Sanjay Rajasekharan and Rohan Sonecha and freshmen Chloe Affaki, Hari Bhimaraju, Akshay Manglik, Arusha Patil, Ethan Steeg and Aydin Tiritoglu went on the trip to Houston. In total, more than 15,000 students from 43 different countries competed in the tournament with team-built robots.

At the competition, there are six different divisions each holding 67 teams. Each team competes within their division in six events. The winners of these events advance into a round robin where the finalists and winners are chosen. Additionally, there are conferences and fairs for competitors to expand their knowledge and discuss new ideas.

“The cool thing about World’s is that there are so many countries competing there. I definitely got to meet new people and see new teams,” Rahul Goyal (11), part of the drive team which helps control the robot, said. “It was interesting to talk to other teams and see how their build season was different from ours, so it was cool to meet new people and see how each team operates.”

Harker’s group was chosen in the second round of picks as an alliance. There are eight alliances each with a captain team who decides the three other teams in the partnership.

Alliance 1, the team Harker was a part of, also included team Code Orange from Irvine, California, team MadTown Robotics from Madera, California, and team Chill Out from Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Together, this team was undefeated in all three rounds of the competition, leading them to a victory in the Roebling subdivision.

“It was really nice to go to such a high level competition and have a working robot that performs really well on the field. It was just a culmination of all our work to be one of the top teams out there,” Robotics president Aria Coalson (12) said.

This year, the members used a machine called the computer numerical control (CNC), which allowed them to have more control over the different parts of the robot. This also helped the precision and quality of the robot.

Despite suffering damage from a small fire in the lab last October, the robotics team has had their most successful competitive season to date this year.