All Robotics teams qualify for State Championships


Contributed photo

(Far right) Burroughs Robotics members Kevin Jones, Ian Patin, and Rowan Nelson compete to secure a spot at the state championships.

Christian Gilbert, Staff Reporter

For the first time in Burroughs history, all three of the Robotics teams qualfied for the state championship at San Louis Obispo for this season’s competition, Spin Up.

A Frisbee-like game, Spin Up’s goal is to pick up disks from the floor and shoot them into baskets two feet in the air.

The varsity team had already qualified for the state meet, but Saturday’s event offered a “last chance” qualifying opportunity, and the remaining teams rose to the occasion with their robots.

The junior varsity team’s robot consists of a ramp with wheels on top to suck up the disks. A “shooter” was designed to fling the disks into the basket, earning points for the team and their alliance. With revisions from last tournament, the freshman-sophomore team was feeling confident in their abilities to do well.

Freshman mechanic Kevin Jones worked hard on fine-tuning the robot to improve from their last competition.

“I was feeling good about the robot,” Jones said. “Our team was hopeful that we would take home a win this time.”

Seeing the many modified kit bots, the team had faith that they could perform well. At the first match, however, the drive team was shocked that their mechanism was causing issues with their game-play. Their goal was to spin rolling pin cylinders for ten points, but found that this strategy was not going to get the job done.

“I was disappointed with the quality of the competition rollers,” Jones said. “When we had practiced at the school, the rollers were rolling much easier than at the tournament, so we had to learn to adjust to our environment.”

Sophomore Rowan Nelson agreed that the team could have better prepared for the competition.

“We did not put as much time and work into the roller as we could have,” said Nelson. “I think that we would’ve had a better shot if we had come with more preparation and a better idea of what we were getting ourselves into.”

Despite the challenges with the rollers, the team’s disk shooter was incredibly reliable. With this successful attribute, the team was at a major advantage against their opponents.

Meanwhile, the third Burroughs team focused less on shooting disks onto the baskets and more on rollers, which worked in their favor during several matches..

Ultimately, both teams were eliminated in the semi-final round of the competition, but they still had the chance to make it to state through skill-rewarded recognition.

The junior varsity team received the builder award and placed high in skills, so by the skin of their teeth they made it to the SLO state championship. The freshman team received an invitation following the competition.

Adviser Damien Jacotin was enthusiastic about the teams’ unprecedented performance.

“It’s never happened,” he said. He also made a point of crediting Burroughs Robotics alum Peter Neipp for his mentorship and assistance, allowing the teams to spend more time working.