Robotics team works to qualify for World Championships

Claire Haigwood, Staff Writer

CRyptonite Team 624 traveled to San Diego, California to participate in a FIRST Robotics regional tournament, the first of five in which they will work to qualify for World Championships, which will be held in Houston from April 18th to the 21st.

“The robot this year is called Pacrat and it’s designed to pick up milk crate sized cubes and place them on see-saw style scales,” Senior Anuraag Routray said. “Some of its features include fast speed and a ramp for another team to drive onto us for the end of the match, where the robot climbs a seven foot high rung.”

Pacrat can travel up to 22 feet per second- a feat which Team 624 has worked seven days a week since January to accomplish.

“Our season really begins in the first weekend of January, where the organization we compete under, FIRST, releases the challenge for the season,” Routray said. “From that day, we have exactly six weeks to choose what we strategically want to build, design it on computers using CAD, which stands for Computer Aided Design, program the robot using a program called Labview, and then assemble the robot together. Overall, the team’s over one hundred members have contributed over nine thousand hours.”

The product of their work was displayed at the FIRST Robotics tournament on March 8th and 9th.

“At the end of the first day of the competition, we were ranked first,” Routray said. “On the second day of the competition, before the elimination rounds began, we received a red card for something we don’t believe we should have received a card for, but even so, we managed to get to semifinals, losing a close set of three.”

While the team feels that they did not do as well as they should have, they are still proud of the placement that they received.

“It shows the power and drive of our team, that we still made it to semifinals from a lower seed,” Routray said.