After hundreds of hours spent in the lab dedicated to robot construction, the Palo Alto High School robotics team will compete this weekend at the Central Valley Regional robotics competition in Madera.
According to sophomore public relations captain Lauren Nolen, each year there is a different game that the robot must be designed to compete in and in this year’s competition, the game is called “Recycle Rush,” with the objective being to pick up and stack as many totes as possible.
“To accomplish this, we’ve built a robot with two ‘arms’ that tighten against the sides of the totes,” Nolen said. “Because of the amount of pressure used, the arms can also pick up recycling bins as well.”
The team additionally constructed another robot to get more practice, according to Nolen.
“We’ve also actually built a second, practice robot, that will allow us to get a little more practice in before competitions since we aren’t allowed to use the original until we un-bag it at the competition site,” Nolen said.
Nolen said that the robotic lab was officially open for more than 220 hours over six weeks and believes that the team has a high chance of winning because of the hard work they put in the past couple seasons.
“Obviously, we want to win or get as close to winning as possible,” Nolen said. “If we win this competition, we get to goto the World Championships in St. Louis, Missouri.”
According to sophomore lab management captain Kenny Cheung, teamwork played a large role in making the robot since everyone has to communicate and make sure everything works when it all comes together.
“Because the robot is so complex with many different subsystems, teamwork is essential in constructing it — and we definitely have been on a great upward trajectory in every aspect of the team,” Cheung said.
Following the Central Valley Regional competition, which starts on Thursday, March 5, and ends March 8, the team will be able to attend the Silicon Valley Regional competition from April 1 to 4.
Cheung said that after the amount of effort put into constructing the robot, it will be exciting to see the robot on the field competing for the first time.
“This year’s robot turned out really well and we are eager to see it compete against other teams,” Cheung said.