IBET Robot Competition Held

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Photo courtesy of Lin

Borah Choe's winning robot was based of the movie "Up"

Uzma Rentia, Staff Reporter

A passel of freshman lined the gym bleachers, sporting the T-shirts of their respective Integrated Biology English and Technology (IBET) groups during the annual freshman robot competition held on Friday, June 5. Classmates cheered other classmates as they navigated their way through physical and metaphorical obstacles during the process of building their robot. Although the day ended in disappointment for some, four freshman: Edward Chen, Borah Choe, Eric Link and Jonathan Pollock went home with awards for finishing first in individual competitions.

For the past several weeks, the freshman class has been working to build their robots, a synthesis of all technology concepts taught during the school year. Each student was required to participate in the obstacle course and one of three competitions: speed, torque and beauty. The objective of the obstacle course is it hit the greatest number of blocks in a maze. Eric Link won the competition by hitting ten blocks. For speed, Edward Chen’s robot traveled meters in 7 seconds. Jonathan Pollock won torque, an event in which robot play tug-a-war. Borah Choe won in beauty by a creating a replica of the flying house in Disney-Pixar’s “Up.” The wins came as an unexpected, but welcomed, surprise for most.

“I didn’t expect to win at all, because many beauty bots had designs with sounds, movements, etc. All the beauty bots were really amazing. Everyone put in so much effort into their robot, so I felt like everyone in the competition really deserved the beauty award,” Choe, who spent 3 days on beauty aspect of her robot, said.

Chen and Link on the other hand spent minimal time on their robots. “I didn’t really expect to win, but I wanted to try. I did not really put in much effort when we just started building robots but then I just went to a study hall and finished it. I think that my unique design allowed me to win,” Chen said. And although the obstacle course is an extremely code-heavy project, and one that requires numerous trial-and-error runs, Link too did not spend much time on his project.  “I often spent the majority of class periods helping others work on the robot as well as creating template codes and debugging for fellow students,” Link said.

Despite the success of Choe, Chen, Link and Pollock, this year’s freshmen class had a more difficult time completing their projects within the deadline. Although many struggled to complete their robots, the deadline was extended multiple times, something many are grateful for. “I think the tech teachers, or Mr. Piccione at least, gave a ton of leeway on the project,” freshman Nadia Ali said. “He did give us a two week extension without marking off.”