Robotics Team Wins Big


Daniel Franchetti, 8th Grade Contributor

Robotics Team Wins Big, January 13, 2018

After preparing for the qualifying round for several months the Hendricken robotics team gathered their materials for the competition the night before. They had tested the code, and practiced driving the robot for hours that night. However, the team did not expect to fail the inspection prior to the event. Now, they have to fix their errors before the competition the next day.

The night before the competition was the impound for the robot. It failed to pass inspection due to the team number not being visible and the battery was not mounted onto the robot. The next day, the team met again at New England Institute of Technology to compete in the competition. The team was there for 8 A.M. For the first 2 hours the team fixed the robot and were interviewed by the judges. The judges ask questions about the robot to get a better understanding of the code and its mechanics.

Around 10 A.M. the arena matches began. The matches were in a 2v2 format. At the beginning of each match, there was an automatic period. After the automatic period there was a driver-controlled period. The main drivers were team-leader Liam McKenzie, master builder Lihao (William) Chen, and primary designer and builder Logan Cuthill. The support team that did the interview and did general support which consisted of stand-in lead programmer Sean Jacob Alcordo, Benjamin Newbury, Youngdon Choi, note-archivist Timothy Moren, Sean Foster, John Morales, Keir O’Neill, and Daniel Franchetti. The lead programmer Paarth Tandon was unable to attend the competition however.

The matches took place between 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. Each team had five matches. The robots would be place in an arena with tasks to complete. Each task had points associated with it. The total amount of points is calculated by adding both alliance members points and subtracting their penalties. The pair of teams that has the greatest score wins. Hendricken had some good pairing that enabled them to win all five of their rounds and secure 1st place for those matches. The wins were only achievable thanks to the help of the other team. Many times, the team’s robot could only complete a few of the tasks in the automatic or manual period due to mechanical issues.

Once the rounds were over, the team was 1st so the Hawks were allowed to pick a team to pair with for the semi-finals. The team partnered with team 11687 which was, ironically, the all-girls team of Lincoln. The team was up against teams 8409 and 8413 who were called the Leonidas and Invaders. In the semi-finals and finals, it was the team with that won two rounds that advanced. The Hawks’ team lost the first match, but won the next two. The team then advanced to the finals against teams 3032 and 10847 who were the Iron Union and the Robo Eagles, which are not to be confused with the Hendricken Robo Hawks. The Hawks lost the finals though. However, the team received two awards for reaching the semi-finals and for the best design.

Benjamin Newbury had this to say after the competition, “I am happy to be part of the team this year, and I am very proud of our performance at the qualifier. We are looking forward to the state level competition.”

The team made third place in the competition which is a great success. This was only a qualifying round, meaning that most teams are allowed to advance to the next level, states. The state competition is February 3, 2018 at New England Institute of Technology.