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Robotics Team Advances to World Competition

December 10, 2012

Robotics_121012_002.jpgDuring assembly on Monday, December 10, members of the JBS Robotics team announced that at the FIRST* Technical Challenge regional competition in Arkansas on December 8, they claimed the Inspire Award, given to the best-all around team and robot, and earned an invitation to compete at the world championship to be held at the Edward Jones Dome in April.

Our team designed, built and programmed a robot, Lil Bomber, to compete in the Ring It Up game. Played on a 12x12-foot, diamond-shaped field, the game requires that robots retrieve a plastic ring from a dispenser on the field’s perimeter and then load the ring onto pegs on a center tic-tac-toe rack. Teams are challenged to detect weighted rings to earn a special multiplier bonus and to lift their alliance partner during the End Game.

Through a long day of peg-loading amidst a field of 18 robots, Burroughs emerged as the recipient of the coveted Inspire Award, which is given to the team that best embodies all aspects of the FIRST Technical Challenge. As the Inspire recipient, the team received an automatic invitation to the FIRST Robotics World Championship competition. Judges select the winner based not only on how well the robot performed in competition, but how the team performed. Only 128 FTC teams (out of 2,500 total teams) advance to the World Championship.

In addition to being named the Inspire Award recipient, the Bombers won the Winning Alliance trophy as part of the three-team alliance that claimed the best of three matches in the finals. Lil Bomber was one of only two robots to score in the autonomous mode. Lil Bomber also was nominated for engineering awards and was a finalist in the Rockwell Collin Innovate Award (for most industrial and unique design) and the Think Award (for the best engineering notebook documenting the design).

Congratulations to team members Adam Banga ’18, Abdullah Brown-El ’18, Alan Chung ’15, Spencer Hesse ’15, William Howlett ’18, Joanne Hsueh ’14, Jon Ince ’17, Eddie Ko ’18, Gabe Maayan ’16, William Meng ’15, Max Ptasiewicz ’18, Charles Sansone ’15, Ben Stegeman ’17, John Stegeman ’15 and Alex Yuan ’16. Congratulations also to parents Ted Stegeman, an electrical engineer who leads the Burroughs FIRST robotics team and his wife, Sheila Stegeman; faculty sponsor Katie Taylor ’04 (Math), who holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering; and Dan Barton (Industrial Technology), who teaches robotics at Burroughs.

* For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology