Asheville School robotics club takes second place at state competition

From the press release:

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 1, 2012) Asheville School Robotics club members returned from their first competition on February 25 with second place medals in hand.

Participating in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge in Greensboro, the club joined 32 other high schools across North Carolina, and finished better than they anticipated going into the tournament.

“We learned a lot today, and we had a fabulous finish,” said Charles Long, faculty sponsor of the Robotics Club, who traveled with the club to NC A&T University in Greensboro. “We hope to return and compete at an even higher level next year.”

After a 12-hour day of competing with their robot, BlueBot, Robotics club members were surprised when two homeschooled brothers from North Raleigh selected Asheville School’s team and robot to participate in the semifinals. Robots scored points by placing racketballs in small crates, moving bowling balls into strategic positions, and lifting crates filled with racketballs. Controlled by juniors John Volquez and Ian Van Wye, the Asheville School robot scored several points throughout the day that impressed spectators and other teams present.

Thanks to some excellent maneuvers from juniors John Volquez and Ian Van Wye in the semifinal round, the Blues team advanced to the final round of the state championship. Their team, comprised of Asheville School, Weaver Academy, and North Raleigh Home School, won the first round, but lost the last two rounds to finish second in the state.

“It was an exciting and inspirational experience,” said junior Brandon Liang, one of eight club members to participate in the tournament. “John and Ian made a fantastic crate lift that directly sent us into the finals. It felt amazing!”

Robotics Club team members will now have to disassemble their robot and begin constructing a new robot for their next competition. Congratulations to the Blues Robotics Club on a wonderful finish in Greensboro.

Click here to view photos from the competition. Click here to view a video of BlueBot in action.


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