Statesbots robotics team perseveres, problem solves through malfunctions at Robotics meet

Margaret Oliphant
Contributing Writer

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Black team Statesbots drivers, freshmen Russell Hoskins, senior Michael Tetreault and freshmen Beckett Smutz-Ulmer waiting for their next match. Photo by Margaret Oliphant

Statesbots robotics team members faced off in a meet against other teams with 11 other Missouri schools and organizations Dec. 3, in Roberts Gym.

The way a meet works is that first before the team can even be allowed to compete, its robot has to pass an inspection meeting various requirements such as not having exposed wires, liquids or gel product, and must fit into an 18 in. by 18 in. wooden box. If the robot passes, it will go into a practice match to see if their robot can function, followed by a match to see if the robot can function off of programmed coding called the “autonomous” match.

This leads to a two-and-a-half minute match consisting of teams trying to use their robots to pick up cones and put them on yellow poles called “junctions,” trying to get across the field where the junctions are located. After the practice round other teams will form alliances to work together to put as many of one color cones across the field with different sized junctions being different amounts of points.

Webster Groves has two teams due to the number of people in robotics, the Orange Statesbots, number 8905 and the Black Statesbots, number 6285 with the numbers acting like numbers on a jersey for a player.

Each team faced its fair share of technical difficulties through the meet pretty early into the match, the orange Statebots robot had wires that were touching, which meant that the Robots claw couldn’t move.

Senior Nora Jennings said, “It’s unfortunate, but there’s nothing we can really do about it.”

This was a continuous problem through the meet; however, the Orange Statesbots managed to persevere and problem solve in order to permanently solve the issue, having the claw back and moving soon after

The Orange Statesbots team wasn’t alone however. The Black Statesbots team had its fair share of difficulties as its robot’s power switch was flipped on by the corner during the first match, and in order to prevent it and its alliance from getting penalized, the team decided not to touch the bot. The Black Statesbots were able to make a comeback during its second match.

“Got two wins of the matches, pretty good year so far,” senior Michael Tetreault said.

The Orange Statesbots had another issue. The engine malfunctioned, and the arm could not stop performing the same task.

According to freshman Aden Wilisch, driver, the robot was “Constantly turning off, bot wasn’t connecting so it couldn’t turn.”

While waiting for its next match, the team fixed the engine and had it up and running again.

At the end of the match, the Statesbots Black team won two rounds and had a high score of 59 points.

“I feel like it went really well today, the other teams did a great job,” senior AJ Stewart, driver and build team leader for the robot, said.

Meanwhile the Statesbots Orange team had a high score of 38 points.

“Robotics is fun, but it could also be quite stressful,” Wilisch said.

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