Santa Fe ‘Robos’ place at national competition


Megan Wong

The Santa Fe Robos Lobos team stands proudly after they placed second in the Oklahoma Regional Robotics Competition.

Megan Tran, Santa Fe Staff Writer

On March 23, the Santa Fe Robotics, Robos Lobos, team attended the 2017 Oklahoma Regional Robotics Competition at the Cox Convention Center. This year, 61 teams from Oklahoma and nearby states competed to showcase the talent of their respected robotics teams.

The primary goal of this year’s competition was for each team to build a robot that that could shoot ‘fuel’ (balls) into a basket, place large yellow gears onto pegs and climb a rope in thirty seconds or less at the end of the two-minute match. The robots were then ranked by the number of balls they could shoot, whether or not the robots could climb up the rope and the number of rotors spinning from the gears.

The separate teams were organized into alliances with three robots for each one. Santa Fe’s team was in one of the top eight alliances (alliance #4) and their alliance went all the way to the final round. Alliance #4 was the only alliance to make it through quarterfinals and semifinals without having to participate in a tiebreaker match and Santa Fe’s team placed in second overall.

“We almost had the win in the bag but the other team’s robot earned more points than ours at the last second,” said junior pilot Hari Nadason. “Regardless of missing out on nationals, we played in seven quarterfinals, three semifinals and two final matches. We haven’t gone this far since 2008, so I’m extremely proud of our team.”

At the competition, the three drivers who were in charge of controlling the robot were seniors Jonathan Wong, Kichang Song and Ethan Vong. The two gear feeders were junior Konstantine Ganchev and senior Jazmine Gomez. Lastly, the pilot whose job was to hoist up the gears and carry the robots up the rope was Hari Nadason. Other members of the club also came to support their fellow teammates.

“Since some of us couldn’t participate in the competition directly, we spent our time in the stands scouting and cheering on our team,” senior Shiva Baradan said. “However, we also got to help out other teams in our alliance with their robots to maximize our chances of winning.”

The sponsor for Santa Fe’s Robotics team, Randy Blackwood, believes that they key to this year’s success was having a team that closely observed the rules and focused on how to increase their chances of winning through the careful preparation of their robot.

“We had our experienced drivers analyze how to score points in the most efficient way possible,” Blackwood said. “By working smarter, not harder, we were able to achieve the best results in this competition.”

As the final competition of the year, the Santa Fe Robotics team was able to finish on a positive note with knowledge to improve for the future.