Queens H.S. heads to national robotics competition

By Sadef Ali Kully

The RoboTigers, the robotics team from Queens Vocational and Technical High School in Long Island City, won the regional games in the Annual First Robotics Competition at Jacob Javits Center Sunday and will continue into the championships in St. Louis.

Other Queens-based high school teams also did well, Team 2601 from Townsend Harris High School in Flushing captured the Regional Engineering Inspiration Award and Team 5599 from Benjamin N. Cardozo High School in Bayside won the Rookie Inspiration Award.

There was a total of 66 teams competing, including about 45 teams from the city, an estimated 11 teams from across the state and nine international teams, mostly from China.

The Annual First Robotics Competition is a multi-day themed competition where almost 2,500 high school students battle with their custom-built robots in a high-stakes, high-energy, sport-style tournament against designated challenges.

The robot theme for this year was recycling for the teams. Robots score points measured on how efficiently and quickly they can stack recycling containers, properly dispose of pool noodles which represent litter, and place the containers properly. Each team must create an alliance with two other teams in order to win the regionals. The winning alliance goes on to compete in the final championships in Missouri.

“Our robot stacks in the field through a human feeding station. It has an elevator and a claw system,” said Bradley James, 16, a member of the Robo Tigers team. “It could be used to help stack things, clear out landfills, or commercial use.”

It took the RoboTigers about six weeks before the competition to design, build and test their robot. The school has been contending in robotic tournaments since 2006.

“We have a special device that actually reaches out and grabs the recycling bins,” Bradley said, about the special feature that stood out from other robots in the competition.

The winning alliance was comprised of The Griffins – FRC Team 1884 from London, RoboTigers Team 1796 from Long Island City and Team 2344, The Saunders Droid Factory from Yonkers.

The RoboTigers also won the Imagery Award.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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