Team qualifies for national championships
Blair's Robotics Team was among the three teams that won the title "Regional Champions" in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Chesapeake Regional robotics competition, which took place at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis from March 18 to March 20.
In addition, the team had the highest score out of all the regional competitions that were held this year, according to Robotics Team sponsor James Distler. The team's success in the Chesapeake Regional competition gave them eligibility to participate in the national championships to be held from April 14 to April 18 in Atlanta, Georgia, said Distler.
The competition was sponsored by the U.S. FIRST organization and was one of the 27 regional events nationwide this season, according to a press release prepared by Blair's Robotics Team. Fifty-eight teams from 13 states participated in the event.
The competition consisted of a "unique game designed specifically for FIRST," reported the press release. Robots scored points by passing balls to human players to shoot into one of four goals on a field or by doing a "chin-up" at the end of a ten-foot-high bar in the middle of the field. Each team was allied with a partner that was "randomly selected," said Distler.
According to Distler, Blair's robot was very compatible with its partners. Blair's robot was "able to get a lot of points with the chin-up," while its partners were adept at handling and manipulating the balls. "It was a good complement," Distler said. "You can't build a robot to do everything. It really depends on your alliance partner and your strategies."
Members of the Robotics Team received the rules and parts for building the robot on Jan. 5 and had exactly six weeks to construct the robot, according to Distler. "It's long nights, extra weekends until this thing is finished," he said. "It's a dedicated group of kids that do this."
The Robotics team received two trophies for its success, and each individual member received a medallion. "We get a lot of satisfaction, which is not measurable," added Distler.
Katherine Zhang. Katherine Zhang likes French baguettes, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, bookmarks, fresh boxes of rosin, Brad Meltzer novels, and of course, "JAG." In her free time, Katherine enjoys knitting, playing the violin, and reading - especially legal thrillers and books about people in faraway places and long-ago times. … More »