It’s been a crazy few weeks for the Central High School RoboLancers: a World Championship, a 750-student Robotics Expo and a marathon week of fundraising.
Last week, the robotics team competed in the FIRST World Championship in St. Louis, Miss. It was the student-led team’s first time, in its 13-year history, to qualify for the championship. But before the RoboLancers could board the bus to St. Louis, they had to raise $29,000 for trip expenses.
They did it in five days.
The team placed 71 out of 100 teams, though there were 400 teams at the international competition, said coach Dan Ueda. But regardless of rankings, Ueda said the championship would be hard to top.
“Basically, our robot performance peaked at Worlds,” Ueda wrote in an email. “We had our best matches there and in the end, we were able to score in autonomous mode (sinking 3 frisbees into a target 20 feet away), in teleoperated mode (running back and forth to the feeder station and scoring 4 frisbees in the target), and climbing a tower for 10 points.”
The RoboLancers also won FIRST’s Engineering Inspiration Award for the third time this season. It’s an award celebrating “a team’s outstanding efforts in advancing respect/appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school and their community,” according to a RoboLancers release.
The RoboLancers also organized the annual Philly Robotics Expo during Philly Tech Week. 750 students attended the expo and participated in eight workshops, ranging from electrical to mechanical to programming skills. The expo also featured presentations by Drexel University’s Laboratory for Biological Systems Analysis and the University of Pennsylvania’s GRASP Lab.