Robotics Team Finishes Season with Victory

Caitlin Sze

The South Windsor High School Bobcat Robotics Team was off to a winning streak until hearing the unfortunate news of the Corona Virus, which put an end to their season. The team recently competed at Wilby High School, in the town of Waterbury, CT, where they took home a first place win overall. 

The overall competition is a span of 3 days, in which the team travels after school on Friday, March 6th, to set up the robot and to weigh the robot, and compete on both Saturday and Sunday. Senior Jake Violette, who is captain of the mechanical sub team, says that the days are long, because they arrive at 7:30am and leave around 9pm only to return the following day. As a member of the mechanical team, he “spends a majority of time in the pit, where fixing the robot after every round is a necessity. Other members must identify how well the robot does in each round, in order to see what improvement can be made to the robot for future rounds.” There are different teams comprising the entire robotics team, identifying as the CAD team, Controls, MBA, and scouting, which is not an official sub team, but potentially could be in the future. 

The main idea of the competition, told by Senior, Noah Lebowitz, is, “manipulating a game piece, where the robot has to pick up a ball and aim it into a hole.” The beginning of the competition marks a 25 second autonomous period where the robot is required to function with a code, and after, the driver will then drive the robot to pick up the balls to shoot while aiming at receiving points for every shot made. At the end of the rounds, the robot can attempt to triangle that sways and has to stay there within a certain amount of feet off of the ground. 

Senior Ethan Bushman, who plays a key role on the team as a driver, is also part of the mechanical team as well. Bushman says that, “to drive the robot is tricky because [they] use flight sticks to drive the robot, while another member uses a Logitech controller for systems on the robot.” 

The competition itself has 35 teams while South Windsor was seeded 2nd in the qualifiers. After qualification rounds, they went undefeated in playoffs where they came up with a victory. Although the team had high hopes for the season as seniors, they are glad to have come home with a victory before the season was cut short.