Robotics competes in first qualifier

Oakville Robotics competed in their first qualifier of the school year at Meramec Community College on Jan. 7. Out of the 34 teams that were there, OHS team 9612 placed sixth overall and OHS team 9328 placed 33rd.

To prepare the night before, the team members worked for hours on their robots. Several students were up until 3 or 4 a.m. working and were then expected to be at school at 6:45 a.m. to meet up before departing for the competition.

“To get the bot ready to compete,” club president Thomas Gleiforst (11) said. “We needed to finish coding, add mounts for electronics, and drill holes (outside in the cold) in order to finish up the main feature. This meant six people were over at my house late into the night drinking energy drinks and working on the robot.”

At the competition, 9612 did really well. They were lucky to be randomly partnered up with good teams during each match. 9328 had great teamwork, but encountered several problems with driving their bot— their gears kept slipping and one of their motors wouldn’t work due to a bad wire.

Both teams had issues with their phones, which are used to control the robots. They wouldn’t connect to each other, making the robots difficult to control.

“When the phones wouldn’t connect, me, Hannah (Jokuti), and Garrett (Summerfield) left the gym and went up to the second floor,” Clayton Brown (9) said. “Garrett started connecting the phones, and we decided to start doing a ‘tribal dance,’ which was us just spinning and making weird noises in the hopes that the phones would work, and surprisingly they did.”

9328 is working to improve all aspects of its robot, particularly fixing the gears and getting wheels that function properly. 9612 has plans to redesign a mechanism that will shoot wiffle balls, which will be an easy way to get ahead at their next competition. The next robotics competition is Jan. 21 at St. Joseph’s Academy.