By: Michael Solis, PAC Pulse Staff Reporter
On Friday March 4th, Palo Alto College’s very own VEX robotics team called, “Rise” made the long drive out to Houston to compete in the VEX Regionals Robotics Competition. This competition had college level teams all the way from Mexico, Louisiana, and our neighboring school, Texas A&M San Antonio. The robots the school teams made are engineering marvels, made mostly out of metal but also included 3D printed parts. Now, sadly, these robots don’t destroy each other like the hit robotics show “BattleBots”, but that doesn’t mean that these robots that stack cones or go up balancing tables are not a little rough on the field. Some of the robotics matches ended with two robots falling over on their sides like turtles that can’t get up, while some robots couldn’t even start up when they needed to. This competition was definitely one the PAC team would remember.
“This Robotics competition is no joke. Some of these teams have worked all day since the challenge was released. So we will definitely have to bring our A game,” stated PAC Robotics team leader, Zachary Johnson. Johnson spent many days and nights working tirelessly with his team to create some amazing robots and possibly win the world competition. However, in order to go to the world competition they would have to qualify for the regional competition.
As the day went on for the PAC team, they won four out of the seven matches but lost three. However, this did not stop them from winning their bracket tournaments and moving onto the semi-finals and finals of the regional competition. After almost 11 hours of competing, the PAC team went against the number one seed in the entire region and competed for Regional Champion. Sadly, the PAC team was met with technical difficulties and lost their match to the number one seed. The day was not over yet, as it turns out the PAC team made it all the way into the finals and this small, dedicated team from PAC qualified for Worlds. The PAC team also left the regional competition with a Tournament Finalist trophy.
The PAC robotics team will return to the drawing board and continue to improve their robot and their skills in order to compete with the very best teams and colleges at the world competition in Dallas in the first week of May.