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Tuesday, March 19 , 2019, 12:50 pm | Fog/Mist 55º


Robotics Team Qualifies for Championship

Santa Barbara-based robotics team Riviera Robotics
Santa Barbara-based robotics team Riviera Robotics (Doug Bowlus)

FIRST Robotics Team 5818 (a.k.a. Riviera Robotics) came in second place at the recent Ventura Regional at Ventura College.

After a successful run in qualification matches and playoffs, the team lost a hard-fought tiebreaker match in the finals. Nevertheless, the team received a berth in the FIRST Championships because of their seeding at the event.

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) describes FIRST Robotics Competition as “[a competition that] pairs high school students with adult mentors to design and build robots that compete against one another in a high energy environment.

“Each January at the Kickoff, a new, challenging game is introduced. These exciting competitions combine the practical application of science and technology with the fun, intense energy and excitement of a championship-style sporting event.”

This season’s challenge is FIRST Steamworks, a steampunk-themed game requiring robots to place gears on pegs, shoot Whiffle balls into a high goal, and climb ropes at the end of a match.

Team 5818 fared well in its preliminary matches, competing against teams from Hawaii to South America and placing itself in a good position for the elimination playoff round.

In eliminations, teams form alliances of three teams each and then play a March Madness-style bracket to crown the event’s champion.

The first-seeded team at the event, Team 3512 - Spartatroniks (Orcutt Academy HS), chose Riviera Robotics and Team 5136 - Mechapirates (Santa Ynez Union High), forming a powerful Santa Barbara County alliance.

The trio swept through the quarterfinals and semifinals with relative ease. In the finals, the opposing alliances split the first two matches of the best-of-three. In a closely fought tiebreaker match, Teams 5818, 3512, and 5136 lost 235-170.

After the event, Team 5818 received the Excellence in Engineering award for the unique turret mechanism it successfully used throughout the event. Additionally, the team qualified for a wild card, allowing it to advance to the FIRST Championships (April 19 - April 22) which will be held in Houston.

Team 5818 is sponsored by Virgil Elings, FLIR, Valley Precision Products, M&J Machining, MMI Intriplex, Lebow Company, Architectural Millwork, Speciality Tool and Die, MOXI, True Precision Machining, Precision Welding, Axis Machining, L3, and Bowlus Engineering.

More sponsors are: Hendrix Machining, Bosch, ARMABOT, Check Yourself Machining, Santa Barbara Industrial Finishing, Continental, Santa Barbara Hackerspace, and Engen Enterprises, Inc.

Riviera Robotics is a student-run community robotics team open to all high school age students on the South Coast. The team is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization funded entirely by community sponsors.

To make a contribution or learn more about the team, visit rivierarobotics.org or contact [email protected]

— Nicholas Mata for Riviera Robotics.


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