Eagles Robotics Team Prepares for Competition

Update: The Eagles First Tech Challenge Robotics team competed at the Cincinnati FTC Qualifer at Walnut Hills H.S. on Saturday, January 26. They had five matches (including against two world teams) and won two of the five. They will compete February 1-2 at the Tennessee State Competition at Middle Tennessee State University.

First Report: On Saturday, January 26, students will travel to Cincinnati for a competition of brains, technique, and robots.

The Eagles Robotics team consisting of Vance Lawrence ‘22, Sean Porras ‘21, Davinia Surbaugh ‘22, and Andrew Wright ‘22 will compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Qualifying Tournament at Walnut Hills High School. The 28 total teams participating will compete in pairs as part of the tournament’s course challenge.

“There will be four robots on the field each game,” Wright explained. “There will be two teams on two different alliances.” The groups will learn their pairings at the tournament.

Prior to competing, each school will share with judges what makes their robot work and any unique qualities it might have.

“We have a total of four motors for the drivetrain and three for manipulation,” Porras shared. “We have six wheels and two of them are on a daisy chain together. We have one motor for the hook and one motor for the lifts, including the bucket where we will collect cubes and spheres.”

For Porras, the opportunity to be a part of the Eagles Robotics team allows him to hone in on his computer programming skills.

“I've done programming before but never Java, which is what we use for our robot,” Porras said. “It took a bit of time trying to get the hardware to sync up, but now we're just polishing everything up for the competition.”

Lawrence and Wright, who were both on a robotics team at their elementary school, Bishop Leibold, were excited for the opportunity to build the robot and its mechanisms.

“We’ve been working a lot with the computer animated design (CAD),” Lawrence shared. “We use the program to create a three-dimensional robot and move around its parts.”

The CAD is a program the students are also using as part of their Project Lead the Way engineering courses.

“We can help other students who may have questions about CAD since we are using it both for the Robotics team and in class,” Lawrence added.

The team has three coaches who have helped them prepare for the tournament — Pedro Campos, Rachel Sax and Josh Schuh, with Zach Schneider ‘20 serving as a student mentor. After the Cincinnati competition, the Eagles Robotics team will travel to Tennessee for a competition in February. Based upon their performances at the two competitions, the team could qualify for a state tournament and even world tournament.

Posted January 25, 2019