Comox Valley robotics students take on the world. Photo, Comox Valley Schools

Comox Valley robotics students take on the world. Photo, Comox Valley Schools

Comox Valley students take on world at VEX Robotics

Teams post strong finishes, including a sixth-place for one senior pair

Comox Valley students have proven again to be among the best on the world stage for robotics.

Three local teams took part at the 2021 VEX Competitive Robotics World Championships May 16 to 22, hosted virtually from the REC Foundation’s headquarters in Greenville, Texas.

Due to the current pandemic, robotics teams were faced with the additional challenge of having to collaborate and compete in relative isolation using web-based technologies to take part remotely. The competition qualified for the Guinness World Records as the largest online competition of its kind.

Finalists from more than 12,200 registered teams vied for world supremacy in the field of VEX robotics, a program for students. Overall, teams representing Canada earned six of the top 10 positions at the World’s LRS competition. They were: first-Markham, Ont.; third-Richmond Hill, Ont.; fourth-Richmond Hill, Ont.; fifth-Burlington, Ont.; sixth-Comox Valley, B.C.; and eighth-Ottawa, Ont.

The 2021 game challenge Change Up was loosely based on Tic-Tac-Toe, where teams attempted to take ownership of a 3 x 3 grid of nine goal towers using red balls and blue balls.

Navigators team 7842B comprised of Theo Lemay and Sawyer McLellan scored a perfect driver mode and autonomous runs for a maximum possible score of 252 in the Live Remote Skills (LRS) competition. Their results earned them first place for much of the competition. However, on the second day of competition they were unseated, finishing in fifth place in their division and sixth overall in the world standings.

Lemay and McLellan are graduating this year, along with fellow senior team members Zane Henderson, Joel Saunders.

In the middle-school division, first-time competitors Nicholas Horel, Andrew Phillips and Logan McCoy competed on Team 7842M in the LRS competition scoring 81 points in driver mode and 52 points in autonomous mode for a respectable 133 points. Results landed the team in 36th place in their division and 50th in the overall world ranking.

All three teams combined to make up Team 7842 and were recognized by the judges as having one of the best staged video productions in the competition, which earned them an additional 15 points.

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