Student Engineers Compete In Mid-Hudson Robotics Tournament

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Alliances of two teams compete against other alliances in a series of robot challenges in a tournament at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Dumbledore's Army from Suffern High School celebrates their victory at the FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying tournament in Somers. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
The Suffern Doctors from Suffern High School celebrate their win at the Mid-Hudson qualifying tournament at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Students from Westport inspect their robot between rounds at the tournament in Somers. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Among the tasks the robots had to perform were picking up blocks and placing them in pendulums. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue
Students watch in anticipation as their robots compete against each other in the block games. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

SOMERS, N.Y. – Robots and their designers from Suffern High School came out on top in the Mid-Hudson Bionic Brouhaha robotics tournament at Kennedy Catholic High School in Somers Saturday.

The competition was a qualifying tournament for FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge. Several teams will be moving on to the Hudson Valley Regional Championship at Pace University on Feb. 16, where they will compete for a chance to move onto the Eastern Super-Regional Championship in York, Pa.., and later the World Championship in St. Louis in April.

Teams of robots competed two-on-two in a 12-foot by 12-foot square field. The first period is a 30-second autonomous period, where robots move via pre-programmed instructions to move around and place blocks in certain locations. The second period is a driver-controlled game, where students used remote controls to pick up and place blocks with their robots, raise flags and raise the robots themselves off the ground.

After several hours of matches, the tournament was won by two teams from Suffern High School: the Suffern Doctors, which consisted of Anthony Montuoro, Joe Montuoro and Sasha Azeez, and Dumbledore’s Army, which consisted of Neil Sullivan, Kristina Stewart and Alex Fernandez.

In addition to these two teams, the other teams that will be moving on to the Regional Championships are Celeritas from Suffern High School, the Bionic Gaels from Kennedy Catholic, the Wreckers from Westport, Conn., the Roboneers from Yorktown Heights, the Icebreakers from North Merrick and RoboEpic from Greenwich, Conn. Many other teams were given awards for their designs and innovations.

The energy was high at the event, and the winners of the tournament said they were in it more for the social experience and entertainment than the victory.
“It was fun. I like meeting people and hanging out with my friends. And also sometimes winning trophies,” said Azeez.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Stewart. She said the victory was a team effort, and that she enjoyed how much work it takes to make the robots do what they’re supposed to “It was a little hectic at times. You think you can expect what’s going to happen but you really can’t”

“It was a lot of work. I like the hectic craziness of it all,” said Fernandez. He attributed the win to a bit of luck, a bit of skill, and teamwork.

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