Robotics makes mark at national stage

Meg Lane/Staff Writer

After storming through the qualification rounds at the FIRST World Championship event in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on April 15-17, the Swartdogs robot ran into a series of glitches that prevented the group from matching their recent first and second place finishes in Kansas City and Minneapolis.

After performing well in their qualification matches and landing 17th out of 86 in their division, the team was selected as a partner by the 4th seeded team and went on to reach the quarterfinals.

This round deemed the most challenging for the team due a few problems with the team’s robot, Kinesias.

“Our robot was running very slowly, especially when turning, and our battery voltage was down”, teammate Emily Hurban explained, “We got a new battery, thinking that was possibly the problem, and from there we headed to our second of three quarter final matches.”

But after what seemed to be a fixed problem, the robot again showed malfunctions.

“During the match, the same things were happening. We didn’t know exactly why, but then after taking down our robot, we noticed some issues. Two of our motors were warm, and two were cold. Then we noticed that we had some errors with our electronics.” Hurban said.

After all repairs were finally done, the team got the robot back on track. The alliance lost by one point. However, the Swartdogs are nothing but proud of what they have accomplished this season.

“This season really has been amazing. To be able to go to the last championship that is being held at the Georgia Dome is amazing. The whole experience is one that will last a lifetime and has truly benefited the entire team. We are proud of where we ended,” Hurban said.

“We started out really well,” adviser Kenton Swartley added. “We had a great match against one of the teams that went on to win. We lost but it was real exciting to watch.”

The team was able to enjoy a massive party after the competition in Olympic Park to celebrate its victories with students and teachers from around the world.

Now with the championship under its belt, the team is already planning for the future.

“Our team is mostly made up of juniors, so it’s nice to know that we still have another year to go. It’s also nice to send the seniors out with a bang. Kinesias is definitely a robot to be proud of, and it showed all the hard work we put into building a high functioning and scoring robot,” Hurban said.

Hurban also added that the team will be working together over the summer. The team plans to attend CAD classes to help with designing and to do demonstrations at Sturgis Falls.

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