Freshmen build robots for the first time in three years


Abraham Agbota

This year’s robot competition removed the beauty component from previous years and tested only mechanical capabilities. A robot maneuvers through the eight foot square maze trying to avoid any walls whilst also completing tasks to earn points.

Harry Xiao and Abraham Agbota

The freshman robot competition was held on Friday, March 25 in Gym 1 during both eight periods where all freshmen were invited to watch.

Students had about a month to work on their robots and used prior knowledge that was taught to them during Design and Tech to create and code their robots. After this process, students had the opportunity to compete against each other. 

“The robot competition had three different competitions,” freshman Sai Rangi said. “They were torque, maze, and speed. Having multiple competitions allowed for students to have a variety of options to choose from, so they could compete in what they wanted to the most.”

The winners for the maze, torque, and speed competitions were Nabil Elakari, Ryan Wells, and Kritagya Khadka, respectively. Due to the time constraint and the given materials for the robot, students had to adapt to any challenges presented in their way.

“The servos on my original robot fried, and they were super glued down so I couldn’t take them off my robot,” Wells said. “I couldn’t replace them so I had to make a new robot the day before we had to test. I didn’t have time to do gears and I could only find small wheels.”

Although this competition had a lot of hype, the majority of students chose not to compete in the competition because they did not have much prior experience in creating robots or coding for the robot through Arduino. For example, Wells was not planning to compete at first. However, after he tested his robot, he realized he had a chance.

“I wasn’t expecting anything until my tech teacher told me my robot was actually good. Then I kept making adjustments to increase the robot’s weight and wheel traction to give it more torque,” Wells said. “I have a lot of experience coding but not much in Arduino. I have also never built a robot before so I didn’t have much experience in the building front.”

Throughout the competition, the environment was really hyped because in addition to watching the robots, students could buy ice cream from right outside Gym 1. Moreover, there was even a commentator to keep students engaged for the entire competition.

“Overall, the competition was a highlight of the week that featured the work of our talented freshmen,” Wells said.