Three Courtenay grade 11 students came home to the Island with some new hardware over the weekend.
Gauthier Appaix, Taylor Lafleur and Eony Kim make up 7K Robotics, a robotics team they started together in October 2018 after getting their first taste of robotics at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School.
On Dec. 1, the three made their way to Airdrie, Alta. to compete in the Airdrie Regional VEX Competition where they not only won the competition but also picked up two more awards.
“It was really exciting,” said Appaix. “It was actually really fun too. All the teams are really nice there and doing well in the competition was awesome.”
Robotics teams faced off with their robots in a round-robin style competition with 16 teams vying for the top spot.
“The objective is to build a robot and then go into competition and program it and then try and do better than everyone else,” said Appaix.
The game is played on a 12 foot by 12 foot field with two teams competing against each other at once. Robots grab balls and shoot them at flags to score points. Flat saucer-like objects called caps, must also be flipped over to the team’s colour for additional points. Teams must program their robots to work autonomously for 15 seconds and then control the robot for the rest of the two-minute game.
7K Robotics, the only team not from Alberta, shot to the top of the standings with five wins, no losses and one tie. They also picked up the Excellence Award and were named the Robot Skills Champion.
Appaix says the excellence award was based on a combination of their skills, rankings, how well they did in the competition and how well they presented their robot to judges. The skills award took into account their ability to both program the robot to work autonomously, and drive it themselves.
7K Robotics will be moving on to compete in the CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship in Iowa from April 6-8, 2019.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to raise money for the team and two coaches to travel to Iowa for the competition: https://bit.ly/2EbOy0M