Fourteen teams from the state rallied their robots at the first qualifying regional event held in Waterbury on December 16.
The KO team,13 members strong, won the coveted Engineering Notebook award (Think Award) for their working notebook, an impressive compendium the size of a small phonebook of the work that the team compiled over several months. Team members Matthew Safalow ’19 and Ben Poulios ’19 assiduously assembled the notebook that contains the team’s outreach, business plan and strategic goals for the future. Kathleen DiSanto, the coach of the team, proudly stated that the judges called the KO notebook “a work of art.” And, indeed it is. Color-coded and arranged by various categories: design, hardware, software, testing and outreach, the notebook took over 50 man hours to finish according to Safalow. Throughout the notebook, students documented the various tasks accomplished throughout the season. In one instance, a student methodically articulated the procedures and testing for a rack and pinion mount prototype for lifting purposes.
During the competition, the KO robot performed its functions with speed and accuracy. However, another robot from KO’s partner team careened into the KO robot damaging its servo in the first match of the day. Through the swiftness and wizardry of Mike Doyle ’20, considered the “fastest builder on the planet” in DiSanto’s assessment, the robot was repaired in record time. She said, “Everyone remained happy and positive despite the initial setback.”
Only fourteen teams competed in the December event due to the compressed time frame to construct the robots. DiSanto explained that the upside of a fast turnaround for the qualifying event meant fewer teams competing. However, the downside meant that there was less time to drive and test the robot. Ideally, Safalow stated, to properly prepare for the event, teams should expect to drive the robot for one week. In this case, the KO team had only one hour to drive prior to the competition.
There’s plenty more work to be done for Wyvern 36 Robotics. In describing the process DiSanto said, “There’s a lot more than just the robot. Teams are measured on their interviews, notebooks and how well they interact with other teams.” Based on their performance thus far, expect Wyvern 36 Robotics to be in the winner's pit in February.