Local robotics teams shine at world championship

A team from the Exothermic Robotics Club, which meets at Redmond High School, took second place out of 395 robots in the high school competition and won the Science Division championship and the Build Award for excellence in robot construction at the recent VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas.

  • Monday, May 3, 2010 4:32pm
  • News

A team from the Exothermic Robotics Club, which meets at Redmond High School, took second place out of 395 robots in the high school competition and won the Science Division championship and the Build Award for excellence in robot construction at the recent VEX Robotics World Championship in Dallas.

These students were part of Team 575, nicknamed “Haiku,” which has been together for four years and includes Redmond High School students David Tyler, Matt Toivonen, Micah Zeitz, Paul Cretu and Stefan Mellem.

Especially amazing is that when the team opened their shipping box in Dallas, they found their worst nightmare, a robot crushed by the baggage handling system.

“We knew we had only five hours until our first match, but luckily, our mentor was able to get us the parts we needed and our robot were designed to be easily repaired,” said David Tyler, the team’s captain. “We managed to get it fixed in three hours and made our first match on time.”

The robots were playing a game called “Clean Sweep” in which two robots work together to try to score points by placing three different-sized balls over a dividing wall, while their opponents try to do the same thing.

The team’s lead advisor, Rick Tyler, described it as, “it’s like a crazy version of robot volleyball played with 85 Nerf footballs, basketballs and soccer balls.”

Also representing the 60-member Exothermic Robotics Club from Redmond were several other teams of four to seven members, each of which built its own robot. Eight of the 10 robots in the club qualified for the world championship by winning a local event, which made them the largest single-club contingent at the competition.

• Team 10Z, nicknamed “Billy Mays” won the Sportsmanship Award and made it to the quarterfinals. Members are Redmond High School students Tyler Nagamine, Chuong Tran, Conor O’Brien, Niko Stathakopoulos and Venkata Chavali.

• Team 10B, nicknamed “AI3,” won the Cooperate Award. Members are Redmond Junior High students Sohum Chaudhary, Daniel Fang, Ishan Ranade, Joshua Ye, Samvit Jain and Evergreen Junior High student Sean Yang.

• Team 10Q, nicknamed “Hazard,” dominated the Technology Division. Members are Redmond High School students Tara Balakrishnan, Maya Balakrishnan, Raluca Ifrim and Edward Zhang.

• Team 10X, nicknamed “Stairs,” also competed in the Technology division. Students were Tom Chittenden from The Bear Creek School, John Davy from The Overlake School and Joshua Shepherd from Redmond High School.

• Team 10E, nicknamed “Albatross,” finished 14th of 98 teams in the Technology division. This all-girl team from Redmond High includes Kavitha Gilroy, Anna Horstmann, Gabriela Alban, Kunjal Patel and Netania Boentaram.

• Team 10V, nicknamed “Victory,” finished 8th of 98 teams in the Technology division and made it into the quarterfinals. This all-girl team from Redmond High includes Vita Shubin, Abby Yeo, Alexandra Minsk, Archana Mandava, Jennie Kim and Lydia Hsu.

• Team 10C, nicknamed “Astley” included Redmond High students Tyler Menezes, Adam Ryman, Alex Horstmann, Cole Estes and Jan Horstmann.

Funding for this robotics program at Redmond High School comes from the Lake Washington Schools Foundation, Redmond High School PTSA, the state OSPI and parents and friends of Exothermic Robotics.

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