Gearing up for regional victory

Catherine Liu, Staff Writer

With only 40 minutes left before their inspection at the Orange County Regional, Team Sprocket’s robot broke down. Without the correct spare parts, the team worked to fix their robot with what they had on hand. However, even with this unexpected complication, Diamond Bar High School came out victorious and went home as the Orange County Regional Winner.  

“This year was a turning point in our team’s history because we expanded from 35 members to a 50-man team with a lot of younger, less experienced members,” senior engineering captain Karen Tan said via Facebook. “But it was thanks to the hundreds of hours our dedicated members put in that we were able to make it this far.”

The team, competing at UCI from March 22 to 24, were able to move up the rankings by earning points through performing certain tasks with their robot. At the end of the qualification round, they were ranked 12 of 52.

The team was given six weeks to build the robot for their competition. According to senior Savannah Domingue, the final design includes a cascade pulley system, which allows them to operate their robot to pull down platforms, or in their case an elevator, along with a perfected intake system to ensure that the robot grips the game piece tightly. The team also built in pistons on the intake system, which allows the robot to bend its arms and shoot the game piece.

The team previously finished 10th at the San Diego Regionals. According to senior business captain Tanya Yang, the experience helped them prepare for the second regional match.

“After San Diego, we came up with a list of different things that could have gone better and tried to think of solutions for them,” junior Kenneth Song said via Facebook.

At the O.C. regionals, Team Sprocket was chosen by SMbly Required, a robotics team from Rancho Santa Margarita who came in third at semi-finals, to work together in the finals. They also worked with Team 812, Midnight Mechanics. Together, they placed first, earning a spot in the FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships last weekend in Houston.  

“It’s incredible that we’re going to be at the world championships because it’s a celebration of everything the team has accomplished this past season,” Yang said. “With just the caliber of the teams there [and] the people, it’s really a great experience.”