BHS Robotics makes World Championships debut


Robotic Burros competing at Worlds include (from left) advisor Damien Jacotin, CAD Modeler Albert Rosas, Programmer Gabriel Neipp, Engineer Logan Burnes, Lead Strategist-Mechanical Engineer Jonah Scanlan, Team Captain Peter Neipp, Strategist-Scout Kaleb Hawkins, and Documentarian Moazzma Chaudhry.

Sarah Quick, Reporter

After winning the Think Award at their state competition, Burroughs High School robotics team 7422B won a chance to test their talents at the two-day VEX Robotics World Championship held May 5-7 in Dallas, Texas.
Although they did not advance to the finals round, the team finished with a 5-5-0 record in preliminaries. Out of the 800 teams that were there from around the world, 7422B placed 42nd in their division of 86 teams, putting them in the top 1% of teams entering the competition worldwide.
The massive scope of the competition — competing in a huge arena in front of thousands of spectators — came as kind of shock to the local team, which was making the school’s first appearance at the Worlds competition.
With so much new, what was the team’s biggest challenge?
“Probably to overcome the very high level of competition that teams in urban areas have access to,” said adviser Damien Jacotin.
That high level of competition was an eye-opening experience for the student participants, including Team Programmer Gabe Neipp.
“Participating at this level of competition was not just about robotics for me, but about seeing what is possible with developing technologies and what our country and other cultures are able to create and accomplish,” said Neipp. “Having this kind of exposure will be so helpful for those of us who want to enter a technical field.”
Team Captain Peter Neipp put the accomplishment in context for Burroughs robotics past, present and future.
“Being able to participate at the global level and stay competitive has been an amazing experience for our team,” said Neipp. “I am grateful that we were able to achieve this. It was a lot of hard work not just from the members of our team, but those who came before us and supported us along the way, that got us here. I hope that what we were able to do this year gives people in next year’s program the same kind of stepping stone that we were able to take advantage of.”
Next year’s competition was on the team’s mind as they got a sneak peak at next year’s “spin up” competition format, which involves scoring goals with Frisbee-style disks.
After seeing the dramatic reveal of the new game, the club can’t wait to get started on next season’s robots with the goal of making it right back to Worlds for next season.
Burroughs Robotics Club will host a meeting for prospective members next Friday, May 20, where they will show off the new game.
Last week’s appearance at the World Championship marked the culmination of several achievements for the team.
They finished regionals with a 13-1 record, losing solely to their sister team at BHS.
They logged the highest driver-control and autonomous scores for the league Skills Competition.
They won the regional Excellence Award, which acknowledges the best overall team (league record, autonomous program, documentation, sportsmanship, design).
They finished State Championships with a 6-1 record and won the coveted “Think” award for their consistent autonomous program — the highest in the state Skills Competition.
They were the first BHS team to qualify for and compete in the World Championships.
“These achievements were the result of thousands of man hours from Team Captain Peter Neipp, Programmer Gabriel Neipp, CAD Modeler Albert Rosas, Lead Strategist-Mechanical Engineer Jonah Scanlan, Strategist-Scout Kaleb Hawkins, Documentarian Moazzma Chaudhry and Engineer Logan Burnes,” stated the group’s Facebook page.
“The success of this team was also the result of inspiration and leadership from Coach Damien Jacotin, Sponsor John Paul and Robotics for STEM, and scores of donors in our community who have invested in the program and helped our team represent us on the global stage.
“To everyone who has given time, money and energy — thank you for your contribution to this amazing experience.”