The Lytle High School Robotics Team took home the top prize for innovative design after competing in an area robotics competition with 28 local teams Saturday at Memorial High School.
The Robo-Pirates will now advance to compete in the Alamo Regional Robotics Competition against teams from across Texas. Saturday’s FIRST Tech Challenge qualifier included head-to-head robotics competition and presentations to judges during which the team discussed the robot’s design and the club’s outreach to the community.
The team competed in five preliminary matches and won three of those matches and tied another. The team suffered a setback early in the tournament when its robot’s autonomous program caused it to crash into some of the field elements and referees assessed a 50-point penalty. The match ended in a tie. Lytle lost the final match of the preliminary round when one of the robot’s wheels came loose from the axle, causing it to lose steering ability. The three wins and one tie were enough to get the team to the final round, however, and the team ended the head-to-head matches in 7th place among 28 teams.
The team’s innovative design and use of computer-aided design (CAD) helped it win the PTC Design Award. The award is given to the team that uses industrial design techniques to create a robot that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
One of the team’s veterans, Alejandro Olvera, has focused on modeling the team’s robot using CAD software that enables them to refine their design. The Robo Pirates were also named as runners-up in two other award catagories – The Motivate Award and the Connect Award. Team members who traveled to the Memorial FTC Qualifier were: Rene Lopez, Brittany Miller, Jose Moreno, Pedro Moreno, Jeronimo Perez, Miranda Sevier, Joel Aguirre, Bethania Botello, Emma Mask, Alejandro Olvera and Michelle Owen.
The public is invited to attend the regional competition March 28 and 29 at the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center in San Antonio. Admission is free.