In only their second year of competition, two VEX Robotics teams from the Cinco Ranch High School Robotics Team 624 (CRyptonite) advanced from the South Texas Championship tournament.
Rookie Team 624C, composed entirely of underclassmen, qualified for the World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky, April 19-22, after reaching the South Texas Championship tournament semifinals.
“The last match had been a very close match,” 624C member Udai Jain said. “We didn’t know for sure if we won or not, but we were very excited and shocked that we had made it. It was an amazing experience.”
Team 624K, earning several excellence awards at previous tournaments, qualified for the CREATE U.S. Open Robotics Championship, which will be held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, April 6-8.
“When I found out we got the Excellence Award, it was mind-blowing,” 624K member Emran Khan said. “This is the first year that we entered an engineering notebook and the first time we won in skills, and so when I heard that we won the Excellence Award, it was really inspiring because many more prepared and experienced teams competed yet the judges felt that we earned it.”
The Excellence Award is the highest award presented at a VEX Robotics Competition. The recipient of this award is a team that exemplifies overall excellence in building a well-rounded VEX program and excelling in all phases of a robotics competition.
“The Excellence Award qualified us not only for state but also nationals,” Khan said. “Right now we are currently planning to attend nationals and are on the waiting list for Worlds in Louisville.”
In 2015, CRyptonite decided to invest in adding VEX Robotics teams to help new students get involved and learn some of the skills necessary for building the more complicated FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition robots.
“My overall experience in VEX has been great,” Jain said. “I have learned a lot of things that I didn’t know specifically about engineering and design. It also allowed me to improve my leadership and teamwork skills as well as make new friends.”
VEX teams design, build and program a robot to compete on a 12-foot-by-12-foot field against other robots in a game-based engineering challenge that changes each season.
In this season’s challenge, Starstruck, two alliances composed of two teams each score points by moving or tossing 24 large jack-like stars and four pillow cubes over a fence dividing the field in half. The goal is to get as many objects as possible onto the other alliance’s side of the field and then hang the robot on a designated bar before time expires.
Teams program their robots to score points in the 15 second autonomous period that starts each match, which is followed by 1 minute 45 seconds of driver-controlled play.
There are also programming, drive team skills and project presentation challenges for teams to compete in.
These competitions use VEX EDR robotics kits, which consist of more than 300 standardized parts that can be configured in thousands of ways by teams in order to compete in that season’s robot challenge. VEX Robotics Competition, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, has both high school and middle school divisions. This season there are more than 16,000 teams from 40 countries playing in more than 1,350 competitions worldwide.
As the teams plan their next steps to prepare for their upcoming tournaments, they hope to compete to the best of their ability and continue the program for many more years to come.
“I personally want to continue doing VEX because it’s something that I love,” Jain said. “It’s where I can continue to achieve and build a reputation.”
Find out more about VEX Robotics at www.vexrobotics.com. To learn more about this season’s game visit www.roboticseducation.org/competition-teams/vex-robotics-competition/.
Since its founding in 2000, Cinco Ranch High School’s FIRST Robotics Competition Team 624 (CRyptonite) has achieved international recognition in all areas of the FIRST Robotics Competition.
Highlights of the 2017 season include winning the Regional Chairman’s Award, advancing to the semifinals and winning the Safety Award at the Hub City Regional Qualifying Tournament.
Team highlights from the 2015/2016 season include advancing to the Divisional Quarter-Finals of the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championship; winning all three of the 2015 Regional Qualifying Tournaments the team entered: Dallas, Utah, and the Lone Star event in Houston; advancing to the finals of the 2016 Alamo Qualifying Tournament; along with winning Regional awards for Industrial Design, Quality, Imagery and FIRST Dean’s List Awards for individual student achievement.
CRyptonite has also won team and individual student awards for Industrial Safety at the World Championship (2014), and won second place in the worldwide FIRST Safety Animation Contest in 2014.
This has been possible through the financial and mentor support of corporate sponsors, including founding sponsors BP America and Oceaneering Intervention Engineering. Other corporate sponsors include: ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Chemical, Texas Workforce Commission, Phillips 66, Wood Group, IPT Global, AECOM, Bechtel Corporation, Subsea 7, Kinder Morgan, National Instruments, Katy Area Economic Development Council and Texas Hydrographic Society of America, Houston Chapter.
Team 624 has formed a partnership with the Katy Area Economic Development Council to promote awareness and support for robotics programs across Katy ISD.