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After First Day, DPEA Robotics Team in Running for Finals at Regional Competition

After day one of the FIRST Robotics regional competition in Long Beach, the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy has put itself in prime position to try to repeat as champions.

After six qualifying matches, they were ranked third among similar teams. Four more matches Saturday morning will determine the finalists, who will battle for the title Saturday.

The 30-student senior class constructed a robot that could not only toss balls over a barrier and shoot into a goal but work simultaneously with robot partners from other schools to earn extra points. After a six-week build season, DPEA students collaborated and built a robot that adhered to the regulations and executed their tasks. Friday’s success was a direct result of their hard work.

The morning opened with warm-up matches in which Team 1717 worked through some refinements and consistently attained high scores.

“I’m astonished how well we are working on Friday," DPEA teacher Sam Ridgeway said. "Things are panning out. This year was conducted really well and focused on simpler mechanisms than we have done in the past, and it has worked out for us.”

As some students began scouting the matches, others worked on the robot itself.

Team member Nicolas Jones for the robot, stated: “We spent the night before the competition organizing. Organization is really important. The team came together as a whole and we got everything done.”

DPEA robot
DPEA Team 1717 members Charlie Green and Anthony Blair helped their robot to a strong finish on the first day of qualifying. (Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy photo)

Phillip Downey, a driver for Team 1717’s robot, stated, “Anthony Blair [also a driver of the robot] and I worked well together even though it was our first time playing in a real match. It was well worthwhile seeing our robot actually collect and shoot the ball. I alternated between nerves and excitement because you’re among kids who have been working many hours and want to compete. I think we can hope for the best!”

Downey and Blair controlled a robot that picked up and launched large exercise balls to score points. Other team members helped in the pits or on the field of play. The key to DPEA’s success, like the Aerial Assist game it is playing this year, is cooperation and teamwork.

“My experience in robotics has been very positive," Ellen Seale said. "It’s nice to work in a real-world situation like it will be in a real job. It’s great having something different from all the rest of my classes.”

Students worked on every aspect of the robot build, from mechanics to transmission to programming.

“In programming, I learned quite a bit," Charlie Green said. "It has been stressful dealing with refinements, but it’s great to see a working robot.”

Fans can follow the action via a link on the DPEA Facebook page or click here.

— Katie Tovar is a member of the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy's Communications Team.

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