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Robotics team prepares for upcoming competition in New York

Photo courtesy of Rowan Hamilton
The robotics team poses for a picture in the Los Angeles regional robotics competition in Los Angeles March 12. The team has prepared their robot to compete in the Hudson Valley regional competition March 7-10.

The robotics team will travel to New York to compete in the 2024 FRC Hudson Valley Regional robotics competition March 7-10. The team will compete against over 70 other schools, predominantly from New York and New England, with their prepared robot.

Robotics Mentor Karen Bonthrone said due to the lack of space at school, the students responsible for controlling the movements of the robot during the competition, known as the Drive team, rarely have a chance to practice and use the controls for the robot.

Rowan Hamilton (’26) said the team is now confident in the structure of their robot and ensuring everyone understands their designated roles.

“Now that we have our robot completed, we need to focus on strategy and working as a team,” Hamilton said. “We all have our assigned roles, so now we just need to focus on the competition and making sure we know what we need to do.”

Hamilton said during the first stage of the competition, alliances are formed, consisting of random teams of three robots. Two teams will then compete against each other at a time and will be scored with ranking points, based on their completion of tasks. After two days of qualification matches, the top eight teams will choose their allied partners and compete against each other in elimination rounds.

Eduardo Pilnik (’24) said the team has worked hard and is looking forward to seeing how the robot performs.

“After putting in so much effort with making the robot and spending hours after school working on it, it’s really great to know that we will be able to compete and show other schools our robot,” Pilnik said.

Furthermore, Pilnik said he enjoys meeting and working with new people when traveling to robotics competitions.

“Everyone is really interested and passionate about robotics,” Pilnik said. “Because we’re working with other teams, we’re constantly meeting new people and making new friends.”

Hamilton said she is “really excited” to be a part of the Drive team and have the power to control the robot’s movements.

Pilnik said although he is looking forward to the competition, he acknowledges the trip will be strenuous with long days of competing.

“We’ll be at the competition venue from around 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.,” Pilnik said. “Even though it’s going to be fun, it is also going to be a lot of work.”

Bonthrone said she thinks the annual robotics trips are great opportunities for students to bond and engage in robotics competitively.

“Every year the students always have a lot of fun, and the trips are usually somewhere cool and new,” Bonthrone said. “Hopefully everyone will have a great time doing something that they really enjoy.”

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About the Contributor
Ailish Herrmann, Media Team
Ailish Herrmann ('26) is a member of the Media Team of The Standard in Advanced Journalism.

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