First Tech Challenge Teams Demo Robotics at MX

Parker’s Robotics First Tech Challenge teams discussed their progress this season showed off their latest and greatest robots at Morning Ex this week. The upperclassman team, named 3507, is currently in first place, while the freshman team, 9410, is in third place in the Chicago Metro League standings.

Members of the team spoke about their roles—from Head of Construction to Head of Outreach—and their contributions to the creation and success of the robots during competitions. This year, the game play involves stacking pixels on a board, with extra points for grouping colors together. Bonus points are possible through a robot autonomy portion that requires the team to program the robot to follow a path on its own and side quests such as launching a paper airplane.

Team 3507 has found a lot of success in the robot autonomy portion, for which they use Java, a programming language, and a Road Runner algorithm to tell the robot where to go. During the course of the season, the team has built three different robots with the help of Computer Aided Design software, which allows them to visualize their designs before construction, and 3D printers and laser cutters, to help bring the designs to life.

Team 9410 discussed their work with 3507 to develop their robot. They have overcome struggles and made adjustments to the same robot throughout the season.

The team demonstrated the game using their most recent robot, then invited Upper School students to participate in Battlebots—a game in which students use video game controllers to maneuver robots the teams have built against each other with the goal of popping their opponent’s balloon.

Parker wishes both teams luck when they compete in the FTC Chicago Robotics League Qualifier Competition this weekend!

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