Peddie’s Robotics Team has had an impressive spring. After ranking 12th out of 120 teams in the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District and winning the FIRST Mid-Atlantic Seneca District Event and the Industrial Design Award, Peddie’s team of robotics experts was ready to take part in the 2017 FIRST Robotics World Championship.
FIRST is the oldest and largest student robotics program in the world, and the FIRST Championship is a highly competitive dual event, held in both Houston, Texas and St. Louis, Mo. and drawing 65,000 attendees from over 39 countries. Last year, Peddie’s team won the Championship Subdivision Finalist Award, Championship Division Highest Rookie Seed, and the Judges’ Award for their efforts as first-time participants.
“My overall experience on the robotics team has been filled with hard work paired with an amazing group of people,” said team member Renee Wallace ’18. “While the time commitment is something that others gawk at, I have developed a passion for building and creating new mechanisms alongside some of my closest friends.
“This year, we began our preseason by welcoming the new members of our team and reviewing all of the safety procedures for using the machines. We began build season with a structured way of dividing up work and brainstorming as a team to decide how the robot will be designed. While using inspiration from others and what they have done, we had a preliminary design for the robot by the second week of build season. From then on, the season consisted of coming into the Fabrication Lab six days a week to design and iterate parts. By the end of build season, we had a more complete robot than the year before. However, as most participants in FIRST will say, the robot is not finished until the end of competition season. We made many improvements to the robot throughout spring term!”
All that hard work paid off when, out of the 68 teams in their division, Peddie’s team began at 62nd place and finished at 20th.
“We had a really strong sophomore year,” said Robotics teacher, Scott Meredith. “We built on the successes of the first year. We learned some valuable lessons about what it takes to compete with the top 10 percent of teams in the world. And now, we have a lot to work on and develop going into next season. Going into our third year, we’ll have a team full of juniors, some of whom have done this three years in a row. 2019 will be an amazing year for us.”