The Robotics Team consists of a mixed group of Middle and Upper School students. It is a student-driven team, which had the goal of competing in the international Vex Robotics competition. The competition involves students designing and building a robot which is able to both automatically and manually score goals using small plastic balls. Kind of like a robotic version of basketball.
The design of the robot took many iterations to get right. The team experimented with a few designs at first, but settled on using rollers to input the ball. The design team of Beckham, Alysha and Po-Yu worked countless hours on the design and building of the machine.
After the robot had been built, it needed to be programmed. Our programming team of Beckham, Alysha, along with our support coders Will and Leo made the robot come to life and navigate the field, grab the right-colored balls and shoot them into the hoops. It took a lot of mind-bending to get the code right, but in the end we had a robot to compete with.
On Saturday 23rd of January, the team headed to Yilan to compete in the Vex International Change-Up competition. The event involved students from around the country, including Taipei American School, TES, AST, PAS and KAS. Students were teamed up with each other to compete in a 2v2 robot battle to keep control of the towers in both automated and manual competition modes.
After a slow start, some technical issues and a few losses on the first day of competition, the team was feeling pretty low. However, on the second day we got our first win. From there, our robot shone and was able to claw back its position on the leaderboard. After each battle, the team would return to their staging area, work hard on repairing and reworking the robot so that it was able to compete in the next event. It was a high-pressure situation which required the team to think quickly, critically and work together.
While not finishing in the top ten this time, the team learned a lot from the experience. Using only a donated basic Vex starter kit from HCAS alumni Jasper Wen, we were able to compete and even beat some teams with vastly more resources and equipment. For that, the team can hold their heads high.