Kudos to the Gryffingear’s of the Palmdale Aerospace Academy for winning their first FRC World Championship competition in St. Louis this past week.
Held April 22 – April 26 in St. Louis, Missouri, the competition featured more than 600 robotics teams in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This year’s game “Recycle Rush,” a themed game played by two “Alliances” of three robots each. Robots scored points by stacking totes on scoring platforms, capping those stacks with recycling containers, and properly disposing of pool noodles, representing litter. In keeping with the recycling theme of the game, all game pieces used were reusable or recyclable by teams in their home locations or by the organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST, at the end of the season.
Team 5012 Gryffingear was in an “alliance” with captain Team 118 Robonauts from League City, Texas; Team 1678 Citrus Circuits from Davis, CA and Team 1671 Buchanan Bird Brains from Clovis, California. The alliance emerged victorious over more than 600 other participating teams from around the globe, including teams from Australia and Israel.
“We were chosen by the first-seeded alliance at the World Championship,” said sophomore Eliseo Cruz, who served as the fabrication lead and driver of the robot. “The way we set up our robot’s frame was easily compatible with the task at hand, which was to have the robots create stacks of totes before adding the recycling container.”
“The competition was really exciting and really fun,” said team Captain Salonee Darbari, currently a junior at the school. “We got to meet teams from all over the world. That was really inspiring to all the members of our team.”
Made up of thirty-five students, six mentors and two advisors, Team 5012 Gryffingear joined together for five weeks in January to discover their new game challenge; design and build their robot “Fawkes.” They competed and won the Las Vegas Regional competition, where they were part of the 75 teams in the Newton Division, advanced to the Einstein Division Finals which represents the top teams from the other 7 divisions. Those 32 teams eventually competed for the title of World Champions.
“Winning the World Championships far exceeds our expectations, being placed amongst the top 4 of 607 teams in the competition. We are extremely proud of each and every member/student on this team, said Brian Martin, Team Advisor. “We have watched them work hard, sacrifice time and rest for the past 5 months. They have confirmed and demonstrated that commitment, sacrifice and hard work will lead them to reaching their goals. It is an honor and pleasure for me to be a part of their team.”
Lancaster High School’s Robotics Team 399 also went to the World Championships but their alliance missed moving on to the semi-finals by 1.5 points. They have made it to championships every year since their inception 16 years ago.