The Bionic Eagles, Altavista High School’s First® Robotics team has just qualified for the world championship in St. Louis, Missouri April 27-30, 2016. The team ranked 6th out of 105 teams throughout Virginia, DC and Maryland and qualified for the world championship by points during the district championship at the University of Maryland this past weekend.
The team was tasked with designing and building a 120lb robot in six weeks that could pick up and launch soccer ball “boulders” at a competitors fortifications. Less than 10 percent of all teams are eligible to compete at the championship level and this is the first time the Altavista team has qualified.
“The kids on this team are fantastic,” James Brown, Bionic Eagles, local engineering team mentor, said. “They are the best and brightest.”
The team has competed in three qualification rounds and three alliance selection rounds this year, with the following results:
- Blacksburg, VA: #1 Seed
- Doswell, VA: #1 Seed
- UMD – College Park, MD: #14 Seed
Alliance Selection for Elimination Rounds:
- Blacksburg, VA: Quarterfinalists
- Doswell, VA: Champions of Final Round
- UMD – College Park, MD: Quarterfinalists
In addition to this success, the team has won the Industrial Design Award from General Motors; the Excellence in Engineering Award from Delphi; and the Quality Award from the Motorola Solutions Foundation during the Chesapeake District Championships.
The team looks forward to what their simple and robust robot can accomplish at the upcoming World Championship.
“The atmosphere during eliminations is something unlike any engineering or science competition,” “This is an opportunity these kids will never forget.”
Simplimatic Automation is a proud sponsor of the Bionic Eagles, and other area teams participating in the First® Robotic and First® Lego League competitions.
“Sponsorship of this team really made great sense,” Simplimatic Marketing Manager, Kevin Welsch, said. “The Eagle’s tagline is ‘Made in America,’ and these students have a desire to see American’ made products performing competitively at the global level, just like the conveyors and robotics that Simplimatic manufactures right here in Central Virginia.”
According to Brown, the senior team members intend to pursue a future career in engineering.
“All of our seniors this year will be heading into technical careers, and plan to stay in Central Virginia,” Brown said. “I am certain that when these students graduate from college they are going to be coming back to the area and working, and eventually running, companies throughout the area.”