Article by: Mayako K.

Edited by: Kylie C.

On November 10th, the much awaited robotics competition, Roborumble, took place. Teams competed with their robots in the VEX Turning Point Competition arena. The organizer of Roborumble, Jason C. (11), says that “this year is particularly notable because it is the first official Philippine National Championships. We have over 30 teams competing from ISM, local schools, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan, so it’s also our biggest Roborumble event yet.”

The competition this year, Turning Point, requires robots to be able to pick up and launch plastic balls, flip over circular plates, and park on raised platforms. According to the official website (vexrobotics.com), “the object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by High Scoring or Low Scoring Caps, Toggling Flags, and by Alliance Parking or Center Parking Robots on the Platforms.”. In addition to the driver control portion, an autonomous section calls for the robot to score as many points as they can through their code, without any guidance from the drivers.

Despite how difficult the task is, many teams rose to the challenge and have been working tirelessly since the beginning of the year to design and construct these robots. When asked about how he first got interested in robotics, Min Gyeom C.(10) says that he “first became interested in building robots in 8th grade”. He also mentions that his favorite part is driving.

Megha, an eighth grader from Singapore American School, says her favorite part is “the energy in the room,” which is “really exciting because a lot of people travel long distances for this. It’s also really fun to see different team’s robots and to know that all our hard work paid off.” Megha’s teammate Akul, who is in seventh grade, mentioned he really enjoyed meeting new people who have the same interests as him and working together with them.

Similar to Akul, Dylan Y., who is in eighth grade, says he also enjoys meeting new people. Additionally, he mentions he likes to participate in robotics because it gives him “more career opportunities because it has many components to it, like coding and building”.

Many spectators ranging from high-school teachers to kindergarten students were entertained by the event, and the growth of this year’s Roborumble surely displays the increasing interest for robotics in the ISM community. Even Alexander, a first grader who has only “made a robot from paper,” thoroughly admired and watched the battle between the robots simply “because they’re robots”. Bearcats can certainly expect expansion and advancements in the robotics club for years to come.

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