Robotics Team Season Ends With Third Place Finish

Team competed against 23 others

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Photo courtesy of HPISD

The robotics team surrounds their award after finishing in third place at the VEX Robotics Competition. This is the second time this season that team Damu Orb earned a third place finish at a VEX competition.

The robotics team finished their season by placing third and receiving a design award at the Jan. 26 VEX Robotics Competition.

Five robots, all built by members of the team led by robotics teacher Tim Thomas entered and competed against robotics teams from across the state. 

Juniors Jed Graham and James Peng hold up their design award after demonstrating superior process design knowledge. In the VEX Robotics Competition, teams of students were tasked with building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge. (Photo courtesy of HPISD)

Team Damu Orb, composed of seniors James Guandolo and Max Law; juniors Jed Graham, James Peng and Brandon Luk; and sophomores David Pike and Adam Leybovich-Glikin. The team received their third-place finish after coming back from seventh place in the final round of the competition. 

“We made some minor changes like making things just faster on the robot and changing out some of the robot’s motors, but it also was a product of a lot of practice,” Leybovich-Glikin said. “We decided early on that only one person should drive the robot, so they could get the most practice, and I think the practice really paid off in that sense.”

The robot, built by the Beyond Wires team who came in 19th place at the competition, was awarded the design award for their superior knowledge of design and engineering knowledge. The team was composed of juniors August Ryan, Advaith Subramanian, Max Nguyen, Jack Fitzmartin, Kate Madder, Zeynep Akdora and John Caglar.

Team Regliis Velit, composed of juniors Raahil Dhingra, Pranjal Rai, Greye Laharia, Jack Jiang, and sophomores Vincenzo Guandolo, Chris Dickey and Peyton Bono, made it to the final round of the competition but lost in the quarterfinals. The other school teams, Rev-9 and Robovinci placed 9th and 20th in a field of 23 teams.

All five teams, as well as teams all across the nation, were limited due to restrictions made in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Because of the pandemic, some of our team members weren’t able to make it to team meetings because of quarantines, so we had to essentially fill that gap,” Leybovich-Glikin said.

The VEX competition administrators placed restrictions on teams due to the pandemic as well. During a December VEX competition, only four of the team members were allowed to participate in person, although all team members were permitted this competition.