Robots Play Recycle Rush

By: Noah Pruett

The South Eugene Robotics Team recently went to a district qualification tournament held in Oregon City on Feb. 28. Thirty teams competed in 64 matches. Of three tournaments the team can attend, they will participate in two: one in Oregon City and one in Philomath on Mar. 28.
Starting in January, members of the club were given a task that their robot had to accomplish at the district qualifications. The task this year was a game called Recycle Rush. It was played by two team alliances of three robots each, and the goal was to stack storage totes on a scoring platform, as well as lift a recycling bin and place it on top of the totes to multiply the score. Teams had a total of 2 minutes and 15 seconds to get this done. After learning what the robot had to do, members built a robot that could finish the assigned task in the fastest time possible.

“Around February, we have six weeks to build our robot during a period of time called the Build Season,” Robotics member and junior Josh Johnson said. “After [Build Season], we have the two district qualifications, and we decide from there if we go to the championship round.”
Usually different school teams form alliances in which their robots join together to get more points.
“After qualification you choose two teams to be on an alliance, and you stay with them for the remainder of the event,” Johnson said. “We paired with Spartan Robotics from Corvallis and Pigmice Robotics from Portland.”
To move on to the championship tournament, teams had to get a certain number of points.
“We got a total of 46 district points, which count toward the championship qualification,” Johnson said. “With this score, we are currently ranked fifth.”
Nessie, South’s robot, uses 3D printed hooks to lift objects, has mecanum wheels, which allow Nessie to drive sideways, and represents South with its purple pride color.

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