HHS Robotics Team 6th in Division at World Champs


By Mike Stratton
May 3, 2011- The Hopkinton Robotics Team returned home late Saturday night from St. Louis, MO, where the First Robotics FTC Championship was held in the Edward Jones Dome.

The team was in the top 5 for most of the competition and was in first going into their last match but fell to 6th after a mistake in autonomous programming. The team finished 6th overall in their division of 64 teams. The top four teams in each division advance to the finals. Overall, they only lost two matches.

Team Mentor Sterling Worrell said, “everyone, from event officials to team parents, were impressed with the accomplishments of this first year team”.

HHS team members Nick VanBeek, Ian Randall, Mike Stratton, Angelica Heeney, Brent Heavey, Mike DiBennidetto, and Tony Gao walked into the championship feeling overwhelmed, but excelled through the competition. Leading up to the competition, the team often worked until 6 or 7 pm weeknights and they continued to practice through April vacation as well.

The competition was hosted by First Robotics, and the winner was awarded the title of World Champion.  The Hillers participated in the FTC competition, which was assigned the “Get Over It” challenge.  The “Get Over It” challenge required teams to build a robot almost from scratch that is capable of dispensing batons from dispensers located on all sides of the game field, and then getting the batons in set scoring structures throughout the game field.  The team had a predetermined plan that worked well throughout the competition, and their highest score was 126 which is only 4 points from the world record.

Although the loss was disappointing, the trip gained valuable experience to prepare them for future competitions.  The trip was not all work, however, for the team was able to attend a First sponsored Black Eyed Peas concert for the teams on Friday night.

Overall, the competition was a great accomplishment for the first year team. While the FTC Season is over, it is not the end of HHS Robotics for this year.  The team plans to present the robot to various groups to raise awareness of the program and highlight it’s accomplishments.

HHS Team 4392 Robot. Team supplied photo.