Robotics to compete in first competition of the season on Oct. 19


Courtesy of Josh Strickland

Senior Anthony Ciletti and senior Jake Bluestein practice for the competition by having the robot pick up cubes.

The STEM club will compete in their first robotics competition, Austin Tower Takeover 1, in Austin on Oct. 19. 

“We are going to compete with bots all over the state of Texas,” robotics club team captain and senior Anthony Ciletti said. “We will participate and qualify for rounds, then we will enter the tournament bracket to see who wins the competition.”

Although it is early in the season, Josh Strickland is confident in each of the teams.

“They all have been progressing really well,” robotics teacher Josh Strickland said. “I’ll tell you these are very dedicated teams and they are putting countless hours before and after school so they’re ready.”

Three of the six teams in the STEM club will be going to Austin, they are led by senior Chase Barnes, Ciletti, and sophomore Alyssa Vaughn. On top of competing in the normal competition the teams will be subject to an interview by the judges asking about design choices they made and other aspects of their robot.

“I spend every waking moment thinking about robotics and trying to implement improvements into the robots whenever I can,” Barnes said. 

Practice for the competition entails building the robot, coding it, and training people to drive it. The autonomous coding entails teaching the robot how to function without driver input–this can be via sensors physically installed to the bot.

“There is a big autonomous portion to this competition also,” Ciletti said. “We have really been spending our time fine-tuning our robot and making sure everything functions optimally.”

Each of the teams has an assigned driver. Team A’s driver is Brendan Diaz, Team B’s driver is Barnes, and Team C’s driver is Vaughn.

“It’s pretty early in the season, so I’m expecting most of the robots to be OK, more or less.” Barnes said. “There are a few teams I’m worried about but I’m hoping to do well against them.”