This past weekend, San Marino High School’s Titanium Robotics attended the Orange County Regional with their robot Galac[Ti]c. This competition was held in Costa Mesa at the Orange County Fairgrounds and featured 49 teams which came from California, parts of the western United States, the Netherlands, and even China. After three days of fierce competition, Titanium Robotics prevailed with a quarterfinal finish and a third Quality Award, which is sponsored by the Motorola Solutions Foundation.
This year’s game, Destination: Deep Space, takes place on Planet Primus between two alliances of three teams each. The first 15 seconds of the 2 minute 30 second match is known as the “sandstorm period,” where direct driver’s vision is completely restricted, leaving robots the option of running either autonomously or through robot-mounted cameras. After the sandstorm, robots can be operated with driver vision fully restored. Each alliance has two main objectives: first, placing discs called hatch panels before, second, depositing red rubber balls into either the three-level rocket ship or the centralized cargo ship. In the last 30 seconds, teams must return to the habitat, and they can climb up to either levels two or three to gain additional points.
Throughout the competition, Titanium Robotics encountered a plethora of unprecedented challenges for the team. In the course of 10 qualification matches, Galac[Ti]c’s arm subsystem broke twice as a result of robot collisions. Despite this, team members were able to swiftly and successfully repair the arm for the next match. After all the qualification matches, Titanium Robotics ended with a solid 20th place ranking that incentivized the 8th seed alliance captain, team 5500 Jaguars Robotics, to select Titanium Robotics to join their alliance for elimination matches. Titanium Robotics ended up losing in the quarterfinals to the 1st seed alliance.
During the awards ceremony, the coalition of judges recognized Titanium Robotics with the prestigious Quality Award, sponsored by the Motorola Solutions Foundation. This is the third Quality Award won by the team. The award “celebrates machine robustness in concept and fabrication,” and the winning team “demonstrates these characteristics in many ways from planning through execution. Building the robot is only part of their success and the judges recognize them as a quality example to others.” The judges specifically mentioned the team’s high-quality design phase, which they recognized as having “a clear focus” leading to a robot “built with excellent machined parts, great finish, efficient equipment layout, and a great overall presentation.” In the words of mentor Gabriel Weis, Titanium Robotics was able to succeed “through strength and willpower” that makes “Titanium Robotics as a team, very unique.” After this resounding success at a Week One competition, Titanium Robotics looks forward enthusiastically towards the Idaho Regional held March 28-30 in Boise.