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FTC Robotics Team Syntax Error Qualifies for San Diego Regionals

By Kristen Kovacs for Syntax Error |

Local FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team Syntax Error repeated their success last month and again earned the Second-Place Inspire Award on Jan. 19 in a qualifying tournament held in Carlsbad.

The award advances the team to the San Diego FTC Regional Championship on Feb. 15. It previously qualified in December for the Los Angeles FTC Regional Championship to be held Feb. 22.

Currently in their second season, seniors Collin Dutter, Kyle Kovacs and Andrew McGuan from Dos Pueblos High School and Ryan Weideman from San Marcos High School formed Team 6077 last year. They meet regularly with their coach, Kristen Kovacs, and their mentor, Christian Marx.

This season’s challenge, revealed in September, asks teams to create robots that can collect 2-inch plastic cubes from the floor and place them into bins on a pendulum. Additional points are scored if the pendulum remains balanced. There are several bonus scoring opportunities as well.

Syntax Error created a robust robot that proved effective in match play at Sunday’s tournament.

“We modified some design elements to improve efficiency after December’s tournament,” McGuan said. “Our robot is flexible with respect to strategy and can complement our Alliance partners.”

The team earned the Second-Place Inspire Award for being a role-model FTC Team. The Inspire Award recognizes teams that act with Gracious Professionalism both on and off the playing field; are able to communicate their experiences, enthusiasm and knowledge to other teams, sponsors, and the judges; and are strong competitors.

Syntax Error also brought home the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award, which celebrates ingenuity and inventiveness and is given to the team that has elegant design, robustness and out-of-the-box thinking related to design.

The overall winners of each regional championship will qualify to compete in March at the FTC West Super-Regional Championship in McClellan, along with representative teams from 13 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a nonprofit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math. FTC teams design, build and program their robots to compete on a 12-foot-by-12-foot field in an alliance format against other teams. Robots are built with a TETRIX platform.

Click here for more information about the FIRST Tech Challenge program.

— Kristen Kovacs coaches Syntax Error.




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