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Robotics Club Rolls to Victory

March 07, 2013
Phoenix College Robotics Club Logo

The Phoenix College Robotics Club captured a second-place victory over Arizona State University and Embry Riddle, March 2 at the Arizona State Championship VEX tournament hosted by ASU. The PC club created two remote-controlled robots this semester for this competition -- Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (PC’s mascot is the bear, thus the Ursa).

VEX Sack Attack is played on a 12-foot x12-foot square field. Two teams – Red and Blue – of two robots each, compete in a 60-second autonomous match followed by 60 seconds of driver- controlled play. The object to attain the highest score by Scoring Sacks and Bonus Sacks in your colored Floor Goals, Troughs and High Goal as well as having the most robots parked at the end of the match. 

More than a dozen PC students participated in the build with eight students and several staff sponsors at the competition. Robots gleaned points by moving beanbags from the floor to three different scoring areas. PC took second place with a final record of three wins and three losses after being narrowly defeated with a score of 32-30 by Scottsdale Community College in the final round.   

Ursa Major and Ursa Minor were built and programmed by Robert Cook, Daniel Dickinson, Myla Fairchild, Mark Hernandez–Schilling, Edwin Maya, Yany Ochoa, Kristina Richardson, Gilberto Vizcarra and Zach Zeeman with mentors Joshua James, Symeon Larson and Amanda Chapman. 

“Half of our team did not have any previous robot building experience,” says Joshua James, science lab coordinator and a club adviser.  “So, if you put off joining the club because you don’t have experience with robots, it doesn’t matter. And, if you don’t like building, we need designers as well as people who like tearing things apart, too. Join the Kodiak Robotics experience between 1:30 – 4 p.m. any Thursday in the Dalby Building (on 11th Avenue), room 105.  Come over to the tech side!!!”