July 22, 2024
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July 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

MTA Robotics Team Brings Home Award

This past Sunday, MTA Lionotics competed in the FIRST Tech Challenge robotics competition. MTA was the only Jewish school in attendance, competing with top public and private schools from across the city in an exciting robot showdown. They came with two teams, each of which built an impressive robot designed to perform this year’s tasks, which included mechanically grasping objects, lifting and placing them carefully on tall poles, driving around a crowded playing field, using computer vision to recognize objects, using sensors and complex software to drive autonomously and following instructions from a remote controller.

The day started with robot inspection and interviews with judges, where the students described the process of building a robot and managing a large team with many different tasks. Then they went on to the qualifying matches, where each team is randomly paired with another team to play an exciting three-minute match where the alliance that scores more points wins. One of MTA’s teams went undefeated during these matches, earning the top spot in the playoffs. The other robot had some unfortunate wiring failures and did not score many points, but it did prove that many ambitious mechanisms worked well enough for competition, and with minor fixes, it should be ready for next time.

Next came the playoffs, in which the top four teams get to choose their alliance partners and battle it out. MTA’s alliance swept the semi-finals, but the biggest challenge was yet to come. MTA lost the finals two games to one, putting them in second place overall out of 25 teams, a good enough outcome that they qualified to move on to a higher level of competition this coming February.

The day ended with an awards ceremony in which MTA’s other robot received an award for its unique and ambitious design. It was hard to see it malfunction, but it felt really good to have the hard work and ingenuity recognized and singled out in that ceremony. In the end, both teams brought home a trophy, and they look forward to improving both robots for next time. Thank you to the school for providing this amazing opportunity for the students, and thank you to sponsors: Polaris Healthcare, Fabreeco 3D printing and Raytheon Technologies.

By Y. Tager

 

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