Electric Wave Team Rolls to 2nd Place in Robotics Competition

Electric Wave Team Rolls to 2nd Place in Robotics Competition

Two F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration in Science and Technology) robotics teams representing CBHS traveled to Carbondale Illinois on January 31 to compete in the Southern Illinois FTC Qualifying Tournament. The competition required students to design, build, and program their robots to complete scoring objectives for this year’s game titled “Cascade Effect”. The program also requires participants to present their work in front of a panel of judges and for the teams to perform community outreach programs which promote science, technology, and robotics.

Despite it being only their second competition ever, at the end of 5 rounds of qualifying matches CBHS team 7783 “The Electric Wave” was sitting firmly in 3rd place out of 20 teams. Through consistent scoring, solid defense, penalty avoidance, and strong alliance partners, The Electric Wave was able to surpass many teams with more experience and resources. After the first 5 rounds, the top 4 teams became alliance captains and were able to choose another team to ally with in the Semi Final and Final rounds of competition. The Electric Wave wisely chose the Robo Raiders from Troy Illinois as their alliance partners.

The Electric Wave and Robo Raiders alliance prevailed in 2 out of 3 close semi-final matches earning a spot in the finals. During one match, the simplicity and resiliency of the CBHS robot designed by team members Siddarth Nair (SR), Dawson Lee (SO), Matthew Hammond (SO), Alex Geiger (SO), and Quinton Hoover (SO) was on full display. The Electric Wave’s alliance partner lost control of their robot during the match and it smashed the CBHS robot into the field barrier. The damage was extensive, but the team was able to quickly repair the robot between rounds without taking a timeout.

The unused timeout would prove useful in the finals matches when the Robo Raiders team needed extra time to repair their robot’s elevator mechanism. The finals match came down to the tie breaker where the Electric Wave alliance fell by only a few points to the Quest Gators alliance, effectively securing 2nd place in the competition and bringing home the first robotics trophy in the history of the school. Had the Electric Wave’s alliance prevailed, they would have earned an invitation to the Illinois State Championship in Chicago.

Another CBHS robotics team consisting of all freshman, also had a solid showing at the event. Team EvoTech consisting of Morgan Trexler, Alexander Tsirgiotis, Clayton Carpenter and Patrick Harkins impressed the judges with their interviews and worked very hard modifying their robot between rounds to achieve the best result. The future is bright for CBHS robotics as the students continue to learn vital skills -- while having fun.