Highland students Judd Foster and Daniel Beaule are off to Louisville, Kentucky after being crowned champions of the Provincial VEX Robotix Championship in Delta earlier this year. They are one of eight teams, out of 37 individual teams that participated, who will advance to the World Championships on April 19-23.
Last summer competitors were given a set challenge to create their robot around, giving them the full summer and beginning of the school year to fashion a robot meeting the specifications.
This year’s challenge was named “Nothing But Net”. Participants built robots to score foam balls into a net.
At the beginning of a match, robots are programmed to score balls for 15 seconds autonomously, without any driver control.
Following the autonomous round, robots drove around the court scoring balls into a net for one minute 45 seconds. Extra points are awarded if a partner robot is lifted off the court.
“One of the most difficult things (about creating the robot) was designing and planning where everything was going to be,” said Foster. “A lot of thought needs to go into how to keep the robot as small as possible, because a lot of ideas just don’t have enough room to work.”
While Beaule has been part of the VEX robotics team at Highland for the past four years this was Foster’s first experience in being part of an organized team. This is the first time for both to compete in such a high-level championship.
“Since teams in the Worlds are from all around the world the competition will be a lot tougher,” said Foster.
“There are lots more teams in other parts of the world, with lots of resources and many more minds working on a single robot.”