Despite being inactive for one whole year, Diamond Bar High School’s robotics team of 23 members re-formed as DBotics this year and ranked 11th at the Las Vegas regional robotics competitions last month. DBotics’ entirely student-built robots, as opposed to rivaling teams’ that received professional help from their mentors, made this feat an especially outstanding one.
This was the school’s second year entering a robotics competition. After the 2011 team, Sprocket, won the Los Angeles regional competition and entered the world championships, the DBHS robotics team disbanded due to multiple issues and could not form again in 2012.
Finally at the beginning of this year, the former members of the Sprocket were able to put the team together.
The regional competition that DBotics entered was held at Cashmen Center, Las Vegas from April 4 to 6. Each competition lasted three days with over 80 participating teams. Each group was given exactly six weeks to construct a robot that could operate within specified game details.
This year’s game, called “Ultimate Ascent,” required robots to shoot Frisbee discs into goals located at the opposite end of the field to score. For bonus points, the robots had to climb a jungle-gym-like pyramid.
Only four members of each team are allowed to participate in the game, including two drivers who control the robot, one human player, and one coach.
During the first two days of the competition, all teams would compete in multiple qualification matches to determine their rankings. Then, the top eight, in the order of their team ranking, chose their alliance groups with whom they would proceed to the eliminations round. Each alliance group comprised of three teams, and the winning alliance of the three eliminations matches would qualify for the national championship.
In the Vegas competition, DBotics, at 11th, was only one rank shy of qualifying for the eliminations round.
The group’s successful performances were attributed to the arduous hours and energy it spent in preparation. Starting from January, the DBotics team met at least 30 hours a week for six weeks to construct two robots, each costing about $4,000 to build. The team of 23 members was divided into three specialized sections: mechanical, electrical, and programming. After the construction of the robot was finished, the team met 15 to 20 hours a week for final arrangements.
Thanks to the numerous sponsors, professionals, and college student volunteers who supported the team financially and physically, DBotics had little difficulty paying for the robots’ high expenses or preparing for the competition.
The group is also sponsored by various organizations including Spectrum Inspection, Magnificent 7, and Walnut Valley Educational Foundation.
“I thought they did a fantastic job. They really showed initiative by pulling together, getting adult sponsors, and fundraising. I was proud of their efforts as a rookie team and look forward to many years of success for our Team DBotics,” Principal Catherine Real stated.