SOUTHINGTON - The local robotics team, the CyberKnights, won their first New England District tournament Sunday.
Sandra Brino, mentor of the local FIRST Robotics Team 195, explained that the competition was the first of two district events. They competed as part of an alliance with two other teams, The Outliers and Aetos Dios.
After the next competition, which will be held in Hartford April 7 and 8, the team hopes to qualify to complete in the New England championships in Boston. Then, if their winning streak continues, they will participate in a global event.
“The top 54 teams in New England will be competing for the title,” said Brino. “At each district event, you win points which then combine to see if you qualify. By winning the first district tournament, we are well on our way.”
Each year, FIRST Robotics has a different theme for its competition and different tasks that must be completed to score points. This year, Brino said, the competitions have a video game theme.
“Competing robots pick up ‘power cubes’ and place them on one end of a Teeter-Totter while their opponents place cubes on the other end,” said Brino. “For each second that it tilts to your alliance’s side, you score points. There are also two smaller ‘switches’ that the robots can place cubes on to score the same way.”
The CyberKnights robot starts off being able to reach up 44 inches, but can extend to place cubes as high as 10 feet up.
“The team faced some design challenges this year - the original design didn’t work as expected and they had to redesign it,” said Brino. “They learned a lot from their mistakes and were able to come up with a winning design. They put a lot of work into the redesign to make this win possible.”
Brino said that at the event, individual teams were also presented with trophies for their designs. The local robotics team was presented with the “quality award,” which means that the judges considered their robot to by very well-designed.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.