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Robotics to world championship in Houston

Claire Moriarty, Opinions Editor
Originally published May 4, 2018


Viking Robotics competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships in Houston, Texas for the second consecutive year. (Photo courtesy of Brian Connolly)

Viking Robotics competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships in Houston, Texas for the second consecutive year. (Photo courtesy of Brian Connolly)

Viking Robotics competed in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships in Houston, Texas for the second consecutive year. Though they did not win a second championship title, they ended the competition with a higher overall placement than last year, going from 34th to 22nd place in the qualification round.

At robotics competitions the teams who survive eliminations during qualification rounds draft other highly skilled teams to create an alliance of four that will be competitive in the championship round. Viking Robotics was chosen for the alliance that won the title at the 2017 world championship, but they were not drafted this year.

Junior and robotics president Liam Bonds has been to Houston for worlds twice now. “The alliances we were paired with were usually pretty weak. So we had to focus on parts of the game that we weren’t really the best at, and because of that our data wasn’t the greatest, so other teams didn’t look at us as being really good,” Bonds said. “It was really nice to see us have a pretty good placement among the teams and carrying some of our matches because we were paired with bad alliances.”

The winning alliance this year included teams from San Jose, Calif., Greenville, TX, Sammamish, Wash. and HaMerkaz, Israel. The San Jose team is the only team in FIRST Robotics history to finish a season without losing or tying a single match.

Although they lost a lot of seniors since last season and welcomed newcomers this year, Bonds said the team benefits from a positive dynamic. “We’re all friends,” Bonds said. “During the competition we just hung out, watched ‘High School Musical’ and just had a good time.’”

Viking Robotics finished 45th out of 154 teams in the Pacific Northwest District. Over the next few months, they will be training future team leaders, doing community outreach and participating in the Seattle 17th of May Parade.

“We’re gonna change our structure over the next year so it’s better organized,” Bonds said. “We’ve learned a lot.”

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Robotics to world championship in Houston