Robotics By the C took first place in the Savage Soccer Robotics Tournament at the Worchester Polytechnic Institute.
The tournament, which took place on Nov.15, included 48 teams total from all over New England.
The school’s team began meeting in early November to put the robot together.
Each team was given a kit of materials to use to construct the robot.
Robots had to pick up Ping-Pong balls and place them in sloped tubes. They could also lift the tube to a steeper angle.
The winner of each round had to have the highest positioned Ping-Pong ball in the tube.
Robots were rewarded with additional balls for accomplishing certain other tasks as well.
For example, if the robot placed a large cube in a certain section of the field, the team would receive an additional four balls in its tube.
If the robot knocked over the ball dispenser, the team would receive one additional ball.
Senior captain Sam Creighton described the team’s approach to the challenge.
“We decided to do it in large loads. We spent a lot of time trying to make it a very fluid design where things happened quickly but also with control,” he said.
The team chose only to focus on moving the balls to the tube, rather than using the alternative methods to gain balls.
The robot the constructed was “about the size of a sheet of paper,” according to senior captain Julia Whitten.
Whitten said alliances are a key factor in robotics competitions.
Each round consists of two alliances: the red team and the blue team. Each alliance has three teams from different schools, but in each round only two of those teams compete.
Each team is on the randomly selected alliance for the qualifier rounds. They then move on to elimination rounds, during which teams can choose new alliances.
“We’ll keep a list of robots that failed in certain rounds and robots that were less reliable to get an idea of what kind of alliance we want to form,” Whitten said.
The team also made two different robots to allow for as many people to be involved in construction as possible.
Team adviser Joseph McDonough said that getting new members more involved is one of the team’s key goals for the season.
Whitten said the tournament served as a great “introduction for the new kids.”
She said this small-scale tournament provided the perfect opportunity to teach new members how tournaments work without overwhelming them.
The Savage Soccer tournament was a smaller precursor to the final tournament of the season that the team will begin preparing for in January.