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Robotics Team Scores High at Worlds

Madison Gillespie, Reporter

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TechFire 225 poses for a team photo. Photo from TechFire 225’s media team

Local robotics team TechFire 225 recently attended the World Championships in late April in St. Louis, Missouri.

 Junior Elizabeth Wagner, junior Michaela Bryan, senior Matthew Laven and sophomore Connor Woods are members of the team.

  TechFire 225 ended up as what is called an Alliance Captain to the Archimedes Division in the first round, which means that they were in the top eight of their division. 

TechFire 225 team members work on their robots. Photo courtesy of TechFire 225 media team.

  The team went on then to the finals; although, due to some technical difficulties, the Archimedes Division team’s robots could not compete, which resulted in TechFire 225 becoming finalists.

  By becoming finalists, TechFire 225 was ranked in the top 24 teams in the entire world.   TechFire 225 competed against 407 teams from over 39 different countries across the globe that were split into 6 divisions for this year’s game called Steam Works.

  Teams would participate in the competitions in three vs three format for the game and try to school the most points possible in order to move on.

  Wagner is the lead scout and strategist on the TechFire 225 team.

  “FIRST Robotics Competition pit three teams against three teams in a game that changes every year. The first part of any event is Qualifications where teams play in round robin matches and are ranked based on their performance. The top eight ranked teams get the privilege of being Alliance Captains and moving into eliminations. In Alliance Selection, the captains pick who will work with them and can pick within the top eight,” said Wagner. “I am in charge of managing the collection of data about every robot in qualification matches, so we can make educated picks and plan our match strategy. I co-built an app to do this via tablets and during every match, every robot has a “scout” watching them that records everything from how much they score, how they score, general notes, etc.”

  Bryan is also a part of the team and plays the crucial role of human player or pilot for when the robots are out on the field playing the game.

  After going to Worlds and discovering that TechFire 225 had made it to the finals, Bryan was proud of the work that she had done.

  “The World Championship is surreal in and of itself, and to be able to be in the playoff matches is amazing. We felt very confident with our alliance going into these matches and being finalists felt amazing,” said Bryan. “We were extremely close to winning the finals match, falling short by only 2 points. It was an honor to be able to represent York County on a World stage.”

  This year’s game, Steam Works, involved several different moving parts.

  The robots had to first score points by taking wiffle balls and throwing them into what is called the boiler.

  Then towards the end of the game the robot has to then climb onto a rope and make it to what was called the airship.

  Laven is a part of TechFire’s media team and is responsible for taking pictures and doing advertising for the team.

  “I was surprised-this season wasn’t quite as good as our last seasons, but I was confident that we would make it,” said Laven.  

The arena for the robotics competition. Photo from TechFire 225’s media team

  The team is currently looking for new members to fill spots that will be left open by seniors graduating this year.

   “TechFire 225 is always looking for new members interested in mechanical and electrical engineer, programming, and design. Not only that but those interested in marketing, business, grant writing, media, advertising, and management due to the fact that our team runs like a small business,” said Bryan.

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Robotics Team Scores High at Worlds