Robotics clobbers the competition

Last Sunday, Feb. 16, Lake Oswego High School’s very own robotics team, ToborTech, competed at a Super Qualifying Tournament, winning several awards and taking a spot at the state championship.  

“[A] major part of robotics is the outreach aspect; over the course of each season, we reach out to less experienced robotics teams and try to help them with whatever they need, collab [with] companies, and also extend our outreach local community groups and try to spread knowledge about STEM and robotics,” junior Ellie Tanimura explained. “During the tournament, while we didn’t rank as highly in terms of the robot game, holistically, we were ranked pretty well. We won the second Inspire award, which is given to a team that the judges feel best represents the multifaceted values of FIRST (which is the robotics organization).”

In addition, they won the Think Award and second place in both the Collins Aerospace Innovate Award and the Control Award. Senior Charlie Liu is the main programmer on the team, teaching new members how to program the robots. He has also been a robot design judge at the First Lego League, FLL, during the Oregon State Championship.

“Charlie is definitely one of the most enthusiastic members on the team,” said Tanimura. “He’s very invested in our performance on the field, and he contributes a lot on the software side of the robot.”

Other members of the team build the robot, drive it during the competition, make connections with local companies and volunteer and mentor other newer teams in the community.

“I am really glad that we are able to make it to the states,” Liu expressed. “We are going [to] fix some mechanical issues we found at the super qualifier and also improve the efficiency and reliability of our program. Besides that, we are going to practice and improve our judging presentation as it is an important component of the inspire award, the award that made us advance to the State Championship last weekend.”