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Panther Growls

Coming Home: Robotics Competition Results

Emaleigh Shriver, Staff Writer

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The Robotics Club is finally able to rest after competing in the Lone Star Regional FRC-FIRST Robotics Competition on April 2 through 4. They climbed to the semis as an alliance fighting against veterans who have been competing in FIRST for at least 11 years while the PantherBots (the official name of the Robotics Club) have only been at it for about seven years. The Robotics Club won 3rd place which kept them just out of reach of advancing to the World Championships.

“With the amount of time we were given, I think that was the best we could have done,” said Senior, Nathan Powell, head programmer.

The team was only able to finish their competition robot about two weeks before they had to go to competition which presented a challenge for them. The drivers, those who learned how to use a controller to control certain movements for the robot, were unable to train enough to properly control the robot, and had to spend a few matches to get a hang of it.

“If we had more [time] I’d have done much better on the field,” said senior TJ Powell,  head of the pneumatics team.

Despite a problem in the finals with an alliance robot being unable to load up part of a pneumatic system, and the robot not being able to function the entire round, the Pantherbots soldiered on.

“We still managed to win the round though and advance to the finals because we’re just awesome like that,” Powell said.

The team was struck with another conflict – the tabs, a part of the robot that helps it pick up the totes, became bent.

“It would hold the totes lopsided, or a lopsided position,” Co_Programmer senior Krystal Fudge said. “It couldn’t pick up more than one or two at the same time. Or it would fall off, or just fall down in general.”

The Pantherbots, despite their inexperience compared to the other competitor’s, and their technical problems, placed 3rd out of the 54 teams that were there and was just barely excluded from moving to the championships.

“This finish is the best we have had since our rookie year and confirms what I know to be true about our team. We are that good,” said Robyn Segrest, computer programming teacher and Robotics Club sponsor.

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Lufkin High School's online student newspaper
Coming Home: Robotics Competition Results