Tahoma robotics reaches championship quarterfinals

The Tahoma Robotics Club, “Bear Metal,” recovered from mechanical difficulties that affected its robot’s ability to shoot baskets yet still competed well enough to make it to the quarterfinals at the FIRST Robotics Championship in St. Louis, MO, April 28.

During the four-day international competition, Tahoma’s team performed well enough in the preliminary round of competition to be drafted in the first round of combined team competition, joining teams from Southington, CN, and Atlanta, GA as part of the “alliance” phase of the competition.

“Tahoma had a rough start on the beginning of the first day of competitions due to some air leaks in their pneumatic system,” said team coach Darren Collins. “Once these issues were fixed, the Bears did extremely well and rose to become one of the top-10 basket-scoring robots on the field of 100 teams.”

Tahoma’s resiliency earned the respect of other teams, Collins said.

“Once the qualification matches were over, the top eight teams from the qualification matches became alliance captains and drafted their partners for the finals,” Collins explained. “Due to Tahoma’s impressive scoring performance, they were chosen as a first round draft pick on the seventh-seeded alliance. This is the first year Tahoma was chosen in the first round in the finals at championship."

FIRST Robotics Competition Championship combines sports excitement with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams are challenged to fundraise, design a brand, exercise teamwork, and build and program robots to perform tasks against competitors.

This year’s FRC challenge was “Rebound Rumble,” where matches are played between two alliances of three teams each. Each alliance competes by trying to score as many of the basketballs in the hoops as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score teams more points. Team alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match.

The annual international competition attracted 30,000 participants, fans, families, educators and industry leaders to watch, participate and celebrate students’ engineering and robotics prowess at the annualFIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship, held at the Edward Jones Dome.


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