Robotics team wins state championship qualifier

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By Howard Kim, Staff Reporter “Three, two, one, go!” Robots hum to life and begin picking up rings to score points, following code written by the competitors. The match has begun. This is the match the Robotics club’s A team, 6121A, triumphed in at the Great Valley High School January VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) on...

By Howard Kim, Staff Reporter

“Three, two, one, go!” Robots hum to life and begin picking up rings to score points, following code written by the competitors. The match has begun.

This is the match the Robotics club’s A team, 6121A, triumphed in at the Great Valley High School January VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) on Jan. 15. This match allowed them to advance to the Eastern PA State Championship that is set to take place in March. During the initial qualification rounds, the team won six out of seven matches with an average final lead of 127 points. This performance earned them the third seed in the elimination rounds, where they emerged victorious and qualified for the state championship. Robotics Club adviser Noah Austin attributes the team’s success to its member’s prior experience with robotics. 

“It’s like a perfect storm: they have experienced members on that team, (and) three of them were in the robotics club at the middle school before coming to high school. It was a natural progression of their success,” Austin said. “That team is also being led by somebody that made it to the world competition last year.”

That “somebody” is junior Aditya Raj, 6121A’s captain who has been competing with VEX robots for four years and leading his team for two. Last year, he and two of his current teammates, juniors Taha and Moiz Chomelawala, placed among the world’s top 108 teams at the VRC World Championship by finishing ninth in their division.

Conestoga’s Robotics Club provides the same materials, weekly meeting space and practice area to all six of its teams, but, according to Austin and Raj, their results differ based on how much time and effort they put into improving.

“The more you practice, the better you get. There’s a point where your robot can’t get much better. (However,) your driving can always improve, so I believe that is probably the most important skill you need for (success in) robotics,” Raj said.

To build on his streak of success from last year, Raj has spent more than 150 hours on building and programming since November. Additionally, he has been spending three hours daily towards practicing driving and controlling his robot.

Even while captaining his team, Raj wants to help other teams at Conestoga achieve the same success as 6121A. He has been lending his expertise and advice when other students bring in their robots to test at school.

“I’d like to win the state competition and compete in VEX Worlds. I’d (also) like more people to go to States,” Raj said, “If I can, I’ll try to get all the teams from (our school) to (qualify), and I’m hoping that we get at least two or three teams into Worlds this year.”


Howard Kim can be reached at [email protected]

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