Robotics team learns about new event

The First Stronghold event will introduce new defensive challenges

Shelby Hudson, JAG editor-in-chief

To kick off the season, Robotics members watched videos and read the rules for this season’s event, provided by the First Robotics Corporation on Saturday, Jan. 9.

The First Stronghold event includes five defenses, with one low bar set and four surprise defenses the robot must challenge.

“The five defenses consist of the outer works of the castle,” senior Rohit Biswas said. “The other defenses change; one is selected by the audience and the other three are selected by the team on the other side.”

The competition will be a defense game, providing opportunities for strategy which Biswas finds the most exciting. This season, robots are challenged to shoot dodge balls through windows and doors of the castle set and then climb it to then play dodgeball with the defending team.

“It allows defense to be played, so essentially it’s like a dodgeball game, so it’s going to be really fun this year,” Biswas said.

Sophomore Gage Weber, who will help build this year, said this year will benefit from the new leaders.

“It’s good, a lot of people stepped up and are being more involved than last year,” Weber said.

Along with the new leadership, the Robotics team will also be building their first prototype robot before making their competition robot.

“It is our first time building a prototype robot because we just haven’t had either the time or the actual resources to build a second robot,” Biswas said. “The major benefits of building a prototype robot is you get to see your design before you send it out on the field, so if you run into an issue, like not being able to cross a defense, you can fix or account for that on your second robot.”

Although the team has gotten to finals for other awards, it has never won regionals, which is a goal it wishes to attain this season. This, coupled with the more stimulating event, has the Robotics members looking forward to the rest of their season.

“[This event] is one of the best. It’s going to be a lot more fun,” Weber said. “I’m looking forward to the robots trying to cross over the different traps because that is challenging.”

Biswas feels that his team’s chances to win regionals come from its experience at past events.

“This year, it has gone to subsystems that we’ve done historically very well and this game has all of our team pretty excited because it seems like a fun game compared to others that were just stacking boxes,” Biswas said. “Everyone is ready to go and just [start] building the robot.”

 

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