Big Red Robotics Third at First Tech Challenge

Nikhil Ajjarapu '20
On January 12, the Big Red Robotics Team finished in third place in the First Tech Challenge (FTC) “Frozen Frenzy” Qualifier at Timothy Christian School, Piscataway, N.J. FIRST is a national robotics competition program.
 
Team members Christian Luu ’19, Andrew Zheng ’20, Dan Braghis ’20, Varun Aravapalli ’20, Nikhil Ajjarapu '20, and Darin Khan ’20, along with Science and Robotics faculty advisors Science Master Mary Calvert and Director of Design and Fabrication Rex Brodie attended the competition, which featured 30 teams from the New Jersey/Pennsylvania area.
 
The competition consisted of a “seeding round” and playoff bracket, in which every match was composed of two periods, the autonomous, and the tele-op, or driver controlled period. In these, the robots created by the students completed a variety of tasks, such as autonomously sorting objects by color, retrieving and depositing objects into tall structures, and even lifting themselves off the ground. Each team played five matches, and the top four teams, which were determined by multiple factors, including wins and points scored, selected two other groups to join them in an alliance. Big Red Robotics had won all five of its matches, which resulted in its being the third highest ranked team before the selection process.
 
Big Red teamed up with the Sparks, from the Stuart Country Day School as well as the Transistors, the Jersey Shore Girl Scouts Robotics team. The alliance made it to the semi-finals, but ultimately fell in a three game series.
 
Christian Luu ’19, president of the Science and Robotics Club - the overarching club which includes the Big Red Robotics Team, remarked, “We have been meeting three to four times a week in preparation for the competition, and not only did we place well, but we learned a lot which will help in upcoming important competitions!”
 
Big Red will travel to Toms River, N.J. for another meet this afternoon, and on February 10, the team will compete in the League Tournament in hopes of reaching the state tournament.
 
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.
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