By Samantha Borja

For months now, the seven chosen teams from the Robotics Club have spent hours meticulously engineering their robots for a much awaited RoboRumble. This November, these robots were faced with a new challenge: shoot the most number of foam balls into a series of goals. However, a much larger goal weighed on these engineer’s minds. The top four performing teams will then go off to represent ISM in Taipei to compete in the Formosa Vex Nothing But Net 2015 tournament next month – facing off other IASAS schools, along with representatives from Hong Kong, Japan and Korea.

This year’s Formosa Vex tournament focuses on the prompt “Nothing But Net” where the robots must score the game pieces in a ‘low goal’ to score 1 point, and the raised goal for 5 points. Additionally, bonus pieces will be added, doubling the amount of points possible from a normal piece. This isn’t all – the robots also gain 25-50 extra points from lifting the opponent’s bot in the air depending on how high they get. The alliance with the most points wins the game.

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Mr. Dingrando, the head of the Robotics club said that his interest in Robotics started when he saw “other schools building awesome robots and being sad that ISM (at the time) didn’t have such cool robots.” Now he “hopes that ISM students see what our program is capable of, and look to make it even better”. His highlight of the RoboRumble? “The screaming elementary kids who were so excited about robotics”.

This year’s RoboRumble victors, juniors Adam Z., Kush S., Alvin K., and Nodir M., have shared some of their personal experiences. Alvin said that his interest in robotics was sparked when he “visited the robotics room in the eighth grade and messed around to make what was essentially a ‘war hammer’.” Shortly after, the club’s current members took interest and encouraged him to join the club. In terms of how they were able to win RoboRumble, Nodir and Adam agree that their robot’s simplistic design allowed it to be reliable and easily adjusted if necessary, and Kush had added that the accuracy of the robot was what really allowed it to stand out. All in all, they were unanimously astounded with the victory, saying “We seriously thought we wouldn’t qualify for the top four, much else the champions.”

The anticipation to the upcoming Formosa Vex Tournament is definitely building (pun intended), and with a spectacular RoboRumble, we can only expect greater things to come from ISM’s very own Robotics club.

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