Robotics Team fighting to win competition tomorrow

Adrienne Kwok, Author

Palo Alto High School’s Zero Robotics Team is in first place among the semifinalist bracket of the 2015 Zero Robotics High School Tournament and has a chance of becoming a finalist if they keep their position after tomorrow’s game.

If the Vikings compete successfully against other groups tomorrow, the team will keep its first place title in the “losing” bracket and advance to compete in the finalist round. The teams are competing for a chance to operate their code on a robot in the International Space Station, according to robotics head coach Christopher Kuszmaul.

In the contest, robots compete with each other in a series of one-on-one online simulations, Kuszmaul said. The robot with the most points moves forward in the competition. Zero Robotics is unique in that its robots are controlled by programming; during competitions, the robots run autonomously by code.

The Paly Zero Robotics team, with approximately eighty students, started this year as a subdepartment of the school’s larger Robotics Team. Zero Robotics is a worldwide robotics competition oriented completely on software, according to Kuszmaul. Paly’s team is working in conjunction with robotics groups in Italy and Southern California.

“Zero Robotics was created at Paly in part by students having so much interest in the Robotics Team,” Kuszmaul said. “We needed a way to accommodate all the students interested but didn’t have the lab room.”

The results from tomorrow’s competition will be available on the Zero Robotics website.