Robotics Team competes after unfortunate motor failure


Heather Lee

Junior John Lian and sophomore Ddanish Qureshi working on the Robotics team's original robot.

Heather Lee, Co-Editor-in-Chief

After a moderate performance in the FIRST Tech Robotics Competition on January 6, the WHS Robotics team has bounced back quickly to prepare for another regional competition on February 2. Despite failing to continue on to the state-rounds in January, the team is hoping for a better outcome in their upcoming February competition with a new, original robot design.

According to junior John Lian, failure to fix technical flaws in their team’s robot negatively affected them during their last competition.

“We had a pretty good design going in, and we passed inspection and everything, but [at the event] we found out that the robot couldn’t shoot well,” Lian said.

Junior Jacob Bass described how the team was forced to adapt to their new situation once they realized the flaws in their robotic design.

“During that whole meet, we were trying to continue to work on the robot…doing that just [made] it more stressful because [we were] disassembling the robot after each match,” Bass said.

The technological failure severely impacted the team’s performance, preventing them from moving onto the state-round competitions. Team advisor and science teacher Stephen Boardman commented on the difficulty of creating a working robot.

“It’s a difficult project because it’s very hard to plan,” Boardman said. “You have to first go through different prototypes and it takes a long time, a lot longer than you would think, to get it done.”

This year, the team decreased the number of prototypes built in order to get ready on time for the competition. Although this change helped them complete their robot, the team still found themselves short on time when a motor module broke the day before the competition.

Having experienced the negative impact of technological issues, Lian described how the team is moving forward by building a new, improved robot design for their next regional competition on February 2.

“We didn’t score very high on any of the rounds but we have a lot more things to do nowadays,” he said two weeks after the January event.  “Right now, we’re meeting a lot more and finalizing our design based on what worked and what didn’t work during the competition.”

With only a few days left, Lian outlined how the team expects to perform in their second competition of the year.

“We’re hoping that the opponents are a little easier and we’re just hoping to have an actually working design this time. We’ve already tested the new design a bit and it works really well, so if that can get done, that would be great,” he said.