Team Sprocket assembled to compete

Camille McCurry, Staff Writer

After many close calls at regionals, Diamond Bar High School’s robotics team, Team Sprocket, earned a shot to compete at the world championships through its alliance with another school.  

The Top 10  teams at regionals were allowed to choose two other teams each to advance with them to worldwide championships. Sprocket, which placed twelfth, was chosen by Santa Margarita Catholic High School’s SMbly Required to be a part of their alliance and continue to Houston.

“Going to champs this year… I think it was intense because the team wanted to do well for themselves, and I think it was more intense because having gone last year we knew what we should be looking for as opposed to just being fans, and intimidated by being there,” said Instructional Dean Gabriel Aguilar, Team Sprocket’s adviser. “And so, I think it was more demanding for the team this year. They had more awareness of their responsibilities to take advantage of the opportunities that they have.”

Held in Houston during April, the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology robotics competition was designed to test the STEM skills of students from all around the world, including China and Israel.

There, Team Sprocket was plagued by minor technical shortcomings just as they were in regionals. According to freshman Ryan Real, the loss of communications with their robot was especially detrimental. However, they continued attempting to score as many points as they could by using their robot to lift and set down blocks, which were used to weigh down switches and scales.

Aguilar expressed his pride in how the team dealt with problems during the competition.

“They aspired to build a robot that was more complex than they did in previous years… Because they were shooting higher, and aiming at more complex performance from the robot, that meant that there was more inconsistencies, that meant that there were more technical glitches [and] mechanical failures,” Aguilar said.

 The fact that their robot’s chain broke made it hard to pick up the “power cubes,” and their intake elevator, used to grab the cubes, had issues as well, Real said.

 “We will definitely address [the robot failures] in the coming off-season competitions,” said Real, a member of the business team.

Sprocket finished 40th overall, but  having made it to world championships was still a victory for them.

“We didn’t go into it expecting to win, because there’s so many teams that we know are just on a completely different level than us. We’re just appreciative to have gotten as far as we did, to have even qualified to go to world championships,” senior Ezrie McCurry said.