The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Students Compete at FTC Regional Championship

By: Staff Writer Anthony Chen

Of the eight teams that competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Northern CA Regional Championship on February 28 at Newark Memorial High School, Team 5220 Roboknights, Team 7591 Voltage of Imagination (VOI), and Team Lambda 6688 advanced to the super-regional level and will continue competing at later tournaments.

ftc 7The tournament featured 48 teams that advanced to this tournament at earlier qualifiers throughout the year. The winners of the competition and recipients of other awards—such as the top three places for the Inspire Award, Think Award, and Connect Award—advance to the super-regional level and earn a shot to qualify for the World Championship.

Preliminary rounds took up most of the tournament. The 48 teams were randomly assigned into pairs and put in the same field as another pair to compete. The objective was to place blocks and balls within the field into scoring containers that have score values respective to their location on a mountain.ftc 3

After preliminary rounds, the four teams with the best record got to each choose two alliances from any of the 48 teams, and compete along with one of the two allied teams in elimination rounds of best of threes. The final round then commenced between the remaining two alliances in a final best-of-three match.

After the tournament, Team Roboknights advanced to the West Super Regional as the winning alliance captain and 2nd place Inspire Award winner, Team VOI advanced as the losing alliance captain, and Team Lambda advanced as the second team selected in the losing alliance. The Inspire Award recognizes FTC teams that embody the challenges of competition as top contenders for other awards such as the Think Award for stellar engineering and the Connect Award for good community outreach.

FTC 5Team Roboknights’ members are Sophomores Alvin Kong, Salin Shah, and Eric Zhu, and Juniors Jonathan Chen, Nilesh Dey, Ajay Dulai, Derrick Liu, Jeffrey Ni, and Samantha Teo. Team Voltage of Imagination includes Irvington High School Sophomore Andey Ng, MSJ Sophomore Michelle Zhang, MSJ Juniors Stephen Tian and Andy Wu, MSJ Seniors Jonathan Chao, Katrina Cherk, Harshita Gupta, Nikhil Mehta, Youngju Yun, and Claire Zhang, and Chester Lo, who is home schooled. Team Lambda consists of Sophomore Abdulvasey Mohammed, and Seniors Karthik Bharathala, Andrew Chen, Tejas Kaladi, Justin Nguyen, Alan Shen, Hugh Smith, Hari Subbaraj, Jerry Yan, Ryan Yang, Jerry Yu, and Andy Zhang.

The three teams will continue making modifications to their robots based on what they learned from other teams and their own experiences at the tournament, as they prepare for the West Super-Regional Championship. This will be held at the Oakland Convention Center from March 24 to 26. Team Lambda Programmer Senior Andrew Chen said, “Despite the technical difficulties that arose with our robot during the competition, I’m proud of my team and I look forward to performing better at super-regionals.”


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