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Robotics team prepares for upcoming championship

Photo courtesy of Maya Fahkry
The Robotics team poses for a photo after their successful qualifying round in Hudson Valley, New York. The team will be competing in the FIRST World Championship April 17-22.

Selected members of the Robotics team will travel to Houston April 17-22 to compete in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology Championship. The competition is the culminating event of the youth robotics season and will include 600 teams, according to FIRST Championship.

The team advanced to the championship round after placing in the 2024 FIRST Robotics Competition in Hudson Valley, New York, in March.

Team member Konstantinos Dalglish (’26) said the team was proud to be participating in the FIRST World Championship for the second consecutive year.

“It was really exciting because we got to go to World Championships last year and that was an amazing experience,” Dalglish said. “We were all looking forward to being able to go to it again.”

Robotics Mentor Karon Bonthrone said, following the regional competition, the team has worked after school, over weekends and through Spring Break to restructure and test their robots.

“After the competition and watching more videos online, we were able to see ways to improve the robot,” Bonthrone said. “We also decided that the presentation of our outreach work needed some revising, and a separate group also worked on that piece as well.”

Team member Clay Olson (’24) said a significant stage of preparation for the competition was recreating the environment the robots would be competing in.

“We took a bunch of time to set up a field in the gym, similar to what we would see at Worlds,” Olson said. “There’s a bunch of testing involved where the robot is driving itself and also testing out a remote control.”

Olson said of the hundreds of teams participating in the FIRST World Championship, all are highly competitive.

“It’s essentially 600 of the best teams of the world, and we’ll be competing against 74,” Olson said. “We’re super excited, but also we’re managing our expectations.”

Bonthrone said it is challenging to predict the team’s performance at the competition due to the innate unpredictability of the technology.

“It’s always hard to know, robots can be temperamental at the best of times,” Bonthrone said. “One match it’s working perfectly, the next match it just decides not to behave. We have no idea.”

Despite the difficulty of the competition, Dalglish said the experience will be worthwhile regardless of the result.

“I think we can definitely do much better than we did last year, and if we’re improving that’s always a good thing,” Dalglish said. “We can continue pushing our limits and being better than ever.”

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

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