Robotics 2.0: It's Good to Have Goals
by Karen Yeung
Some dream about goals... but we make them!
Yesterday was the kickoff (pun intended) to our Kinet-X Robot Soccer Cup Series! Students spent the morning continuing their work on designing and implementing their attachments to build a winning bot. Those that finished began practicing for the afternoon tournament.
With the bracket decided, field lines drawn and the goal posts up, all we needed was an announcer. Co-founder and CS Director Adam Abbas proved to be the perfect fit, filling the room with enthusiastic shouts of GOALLLL and rapid commentary. Meanwhile, mentor Addison Huang kept fans hooked with a continuous stream of zany tweets.
Each game was filled with anticipation as the Soccerbots raced against the clock to score the most points. But it was easy to see which teams dominated the field.
In the semifinals, Team Chipotle (Ross & Ibra) squared off against Noah & Justin. It was a tough game as the two teams seemed to be evenly matched, but in the end it was Noah & Justin that scored the winning goal in the intense final seconds. The victor between Ben vs. Samantha & Shai would be joining them in the finals. Both teams had put up a valiant effort, but it was the girls that wanted victory just a little more.
Third place between Team Chipotle and Ben concluded with a score of 2-1! Although Team Chipotle secured the first shot, Ben didn’t waste anytime to even the score. At that point the game could have been for either team. But Ben shot the ball into his own goal, pushing Team Chipotle into 3rd place.
The finals were set between Noah & Justin vs. Samantha & Shai, and both teams were anxious but determined. In a thrilling overtime match, Noah and Justin seemed to have victory in their grasp. Two penalty shots would have sealed the deal, but in after an unfortunate series of chokes, Samantha and Shai ended up the crowned victors of the Kinet-X Cup. And with it the six sweet Insomnia cookies!
More importantly than getting their hands on some delicious cookies, students were able to engage in a fun engineering challenge that left room for creativity and exploration. Each team brought unique design elements to the field, many of which were successfully at either kicking the ball from afar or carrying it towards the goal. They were able to explore using servos for their hoppers, or to just let the momentum of their robots do the work. Through playing in a competitive environment against other robots, they took into consideration not only what their robots aimed to do, but how to best strategist against other teams designs. By the end of the tournament and the hours of work proceeding it, Kinet-X students had accomplished something great by considering real engineering challenges in the design of their robot, all while having fun and putting on a great competition.
Thanks to Jason Cheung and Gilvir Gill for reading drafts of this.