US Robotics Team to Advance to World Championships
US Robotics Team to Advance to World Championships

Last weekend was the culmination of a thrilling robotics season for EA's Upper School Robotics Teams 2095 and 2234. Following multiple days of fierce competition at the Robotique FIRST Quebec event, Team 2095 was victorious and will move on to compete in the world championships later this month in Detroit.

The students credit their success to effective collaboration and teamwork. "We were a much smaller group of around 7 people as compared to 30+ in some of the other teams," explained Arjun Bhamra '22. "We were a much more tight knit unit. We all encouraged each other and learned a lot about each other over the course of this trip, and that made it easy to work efficiently together to tackle problems with the robot or motivate members on Drive team."

The FIRST season kicked off in early January when the international youth robotics organization published this year's "game." The teams then have six weeks to design and build a robot that will fulfill the tasks and challenges assigned by FIRST.

This year's game was titled "Destination: Deep Space" and was sponsored by The Boeing Company. Teams were tasked with designing robots that could place poly-carbonate hatch covers and orange rubber balls (or "cargo") on rockets and cargo ships before returning to their platform, which required the robots to climb up three levels.

"I thought that this year's theme was particularly interesting because of the history and the future implications. This competition marked the 50 year anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 Mission to the Moon, and they were inspired by that groundbreaking event," explained Arjun. "We are planning voyages to Mars, and a lot of the technology that we've used in this competition could give engineers at larger corporations ideas. Our creativity is enabling the transfer of ideas that could help us colonize other planets!"

This year, EA's teams participated in to two local competitions at Hatboro-Horsham High School and Springside Chestnut Hill before traveling to Quebec Canada for their final competition. During competitions, teams compete in multiple matches. During each match, teams work in groups of three teams, known as alliances, to perform the game's tasks and earn points for their individual team and alliance partners. With each new match, the alliance grouping of teams changes, allowing students to work with and learn from many other fellow robotics enthusiasts.

After qualification matches, Team 2095 advanced to the playoffs and competed alongside two teams from Quebec. Their alliance won the competition and were invited to the world championship.

Students from Team 2095 who competed in Quebec included: Arjun Bhamra '22, Nick Cerone '22, Felix Zhu '22, Erica Feehery '21, Matthew Habtezgi '21, Avani Narula '21, and Neera Raychaudhuri '20.

Through support from the Clare Foundation and other generous donors, EA fields two teams each year and is able to travel to national and sometimes international competitions. Some members of the robotics teams also participate in community service work by traveling to a local family center once a week during the robotics season to teach young students about robotics.