Article by: Lucas Ramos
Illustration by: Sung Yun Bae
On October 23 and 24, an internal robotics competition was held at ISM. This was a major event for students part of the Robotics Club, as the top four of the seven competing teams would be sent to Taipei American School to represent ISM in December.
The arena set-up
There were multiple parts to this competition: the driver control challenge, the autonomous challenge, and the matches. In the driver control challenge there was one robot trying to score as many points as possible from the whole field. In the autonomous challenge, the robots followed a series of commands without input from the user. Finally, in the matches, two robots tried to beat the other by scoring more points. All three of these components ultimately played a role in determining who goes to Taipei, as each event demonstrated the different strengths of every robot.
One of the seven robots competing, Magma Tarsier
This year, the competition was made up by both veterans and newcomers to the hobby. Rohan Tulsiani, a rookie to the club, comments on his first robotics competition, saying that he “enjoys the competitive environment where everyone is trying so hard to win”. Additionally, Adelle Dimitui, a veteran and a member of the only all-girls team, says she enjoys “working hard on your robot for a few months and finally getting to see it in action, despite the nerve-racking stress that it causes”.
In the past couple of years, robotics has been attracting more and more people to participate and compete. As Nico Te says, “It has become more than a hobby, because of the level of participation involved”. With the rate of improvement that ISM has witnessed each year, perhaps the school will reach a wider audience for competitions such as this, and expand the use of robots outside the robotics program.