Robotics club competing in state tournament for fourth year in a row

Feb 17, 2020

It’s another good year for tech in Dartmouth, as the high school’s robotics teams — there are two — will both be heading to this year’s First Robotics state championships on March 7 after beating the competition in qualifiers in January and earlier this month.

This will be the fourth year in a row that the robotics club will compete in the First Robotics’ First Tech Challenge state tournament, in which teams play games in an alliance format. 

After playing in qualifying rounds at Andover High School on January 13 and Natick High School on February 2, one team, the ‘Alumineers,’ did well enough in its alliance to win a spot at states.

And although team ‘Consistently Inconsistent’ didn’t win outright, they did well enough to make it through a lottery system.

Both teams will be competing at the day-long state championships at Natick High School on March 7.

Every year, First Robotics introduces a new game in September with new goals and rules, so teams have to completely redesign their robots, according to robotics club advisor Sam Brodsky.

This year’s game is called Sky Stone and involves moving and stacking blocks of a specific size in particular locations, using various obstacles and features of the game board. 

Each action wins the team different points.

The goal, said Brodsky, is to “have engineering held to the same standard of interest as we do sports.”

Dartmouth High students were happy with this year’s performance.

“The day went really well,” stated Robotics Club President Vaibhav Dubey. “The whole time we didn't panic and tackled every obstacle calmly and carefully.”

Dubey praised the teams’ communication, and noted that since most of the members are seniors, they are hoping to continue on to the World championship this year.

“Both teams never forgot to show Dartmouth spirit and represented Dartmouth High School really well with pride and respect,” he noted.

“It was both fun and stressful, and was overall a great experience,” stated Jack Kertscher, co-captain of ‘Consistently Inconsistent’. 

He noted that his team experienced some technical difficulties during the games. 

“The wheels on our robot built up an electrostatic charge, causing the robot to shut down multiple times when we hit metal,” he explained, adding that he still has “high hopes” for both teams to do well at the state competition.

“My favorite part of the day was definitely being able to celebrate with my teammates after winning and clinching a slot in the state tournament,” said ‘Alumineers’ co-captain Nicholas Carnes. “Knowing that the team’s hard work had paid off and that the rookies would be able to experience the state championship is gratifying.”

Robotics Club Minister of Information William Fang noted, “Massachusetts is one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive state at this level of robotics competition in the nation, so we've got a long road ahead of us.”

But in spite of the challenges ahead, the club members are excited to be a part of it.

“No matter what, as the President of this robotics club, I am really proud of the work done by both of the teams,” said Dubey, adding “We are really looking forward to States!”