Robotics Team Hits Las Vegas

Robotics Team Hits Las Vegas

Reprinted with the permission of the Santa Barbara News-Press - April 6, 2013 7:38 AM.

By Jordan Ecarma, News-Press Staff Writer

The Dos Pueblos High School robotics team ranked fourth Friday after qualification matches at the Las Vegas Regional FIRST Robotics Competition on Saturday.

"I was super excited and very anxious," said Anisha Kumar, 18, who is part of the electrical pneumatics (pressurized air) team. "I had lots of dreams about electrical connectors. But for the most part, I've been very excited for us to compete and for our robot to do well."

The team, known as Team 1717 and the D'Penguineers, came in first at the Los Angeles Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Long Beach last month and will compete in the FIRST world championships April 24-27 in St. Louis.

The D'Penguineers are facing future competition this weekend in Las Vegas, including international teams from Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands as well as teams from across the U.S.

"A lot of the teams are the top-tier robots who have already won regionals, so we're competing against a lot of teams who will be at the world championships," Shaunessy Grant, 17, told the News-Press. "It's good practice."

Despite minor glitches that included a gear malfunction, Penguin BotVIII is performing well, Ms. Kumar said.

The team's hard work at the last regional has paid off.

"In Long Beach, we basically rebuilt a lot of our robot on Thursday, right before the competition ... . It was stressful, but in the end, it was worth it," said Ms. Kumar.

Team 1717 learned about this year's FIRST Robotics Competition game through a video announcement in January, and designed, built and programmed this year's robot.

The world championship competitors are selected from more than 26,000 teams from eight countries. The D'Penguineers have competed in the world championships in all five years of the team's existence.

Last year's Dos Pueblos team finished in the top 50 of the 402 teams that qualified for the world championships.

For more information, go to www.firstnv.org and www.dpengineering.org.