MHS Robotics make improvement

McLean’s Robotics team participated in Botball tournament

The+students+responsible+for+the+team%27s+success+this+year.
The students responsible for the team's success this year.

The students responsible for the team's success this year.

The students responsible for the team's success this year.

John Roth, Reporter

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McLean’s Robotics team recently participated in a Botball tournament at Annandale High School. At the tournament, they tested their robots in an arena with series of tasks that earns the team points. The team earned points for their robot’s ability to pick up several pom-poms scattered throughout the arena.

This was the team’s second Botball tournament under the leadership of club president, London Russell. Last year was the president’s first time being responsible for the team’s success, understandably the team ran into organization-related issues and caused them to lose easy points. However, this year, the team was a well-oiled functioning machine, with a clearer and more concise role for everybody; they went as far to create a club “constitution” that outlined rules, protocols, and procedures.

“resource organization by Josh Mosier helped us follow a better timeline this year…he organized the parts and other equipment. ” London, Russell said, about the man in charge of designing and building the robot [Mosier].

In this year’s tournament, McLean increased their total point score but went down in total ranking. Russell was still pleased with the team’s performance.

“We scored five times the number of points this year vs last year… but ranking went down from last year,” Russell said.

The increase in points can be attributed to their refined strategy that found that “goldilocks” zone of hard points and easy points; they figured out which points were and were not worth the effort.

“We figured out an ideal vs easy point strategy that we reverted to [the easy strategy] for the competition,” Russell said.

With the majority of club’s demographic being seniors, Russell has focused on training the underclassmen and making sure that vice president, and junior, Sungmin Kang is prepared to take the reins next year.

“The precision of the robot has been our largest research area by far.  We determined the battery played a huge part in the precision of the robot,” Russell said, “That will be a focus area next year for the team – working out precision kinks”

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