Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 3:05 pm | Mostly Cloudy 59º


Santa Barbara Team Comes Out on Top in Robotics Tournament

Team 6077 “Syntax Error,” a new robotics team from Santa Barbara, competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge in Pasadena last Saturday and came out on top with the Winning Alliance Award.

The team consists of high school juniors Collin Dutter, Kyle Kovacs and Andrew McGuan from Dos Pueblos High School and Ryan Weideman from San Marcos High School. They began their journey together in August with coach Kristen Kovacs, who meets with the team weekly.

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, engineering, technology 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 using sound engineering principles.

This season’s challenge asks the teams to create robots that can collect plastic rings from a dispenser and place them on a vertical grid a la tic-tac-toe with special bonus scoring opportunities. Syntax Error partnered with San Diego team DeEvolution, which had a similar concept with their robot design, to earn the Winning Alliance Award. Not only did the alliance score the most points in the final match, but they scored a record number of points thus far for this year’s challenge.

The team was also recognized for exemplifying the essence of the FTC competition through team spirit and enthusiasm. The Motivate Award is given for team spirit consistent throughout the competition to a team that functions well as a unit. The boys donned green body suits and black capes, which were standout costumes that brought attention and smiles.

“This team was persistent in their journey to build a successful robot,” the judges said. “After a challenging start, they struggled to get their robot to work. ... However, not only did they score a tic-tac-toe, but they are error-fighting superheroes.”

Syntax Error was additionally nominated for the Think Award, given to the team that best documents their journey of the engineering design process.

They started getting together for regular robotic meetings in August and challenged themselves by entering the earliest qualifying competition just two months after this year’s game was announced. The hours and hours of robotic work really paid off.

They are headed to the Los Angeles FIRST Tech Challenge Regional Championship Tournament in March. This contest serves the greater Los Angeles area, including Santa Barbara. The overall winners of the regional championships will qualify to compete at the 2012-13 FTC World Championship in St. Louis on April 24-27.

— Kristen Kovacs is the coach of Team 6077.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >