Atascadero High students to compete at robotics world championship

slinn@thetribunenews.comMarch 18, 2014 

Members of Atascadero High School's robotics team, the Greybots. Top row, standing, from left: Jack Bowen, Sean Murphy, Ryan Reed, Cory Molloy, Jack Fisher, Caleb Lindsay, Oliver Curry, Brian Ferguson, Allen Bailey, Sarah Moore, Jan Price, Anna Curry, Caroline Wheelan, Lincoln Fang, Jackie Patton. Bottom row, kneeling, from left: Kellan McCabe, Heather Wolff, Predator the robot and Austin Romero. High school students are in orange T-shirts; student mentors and adult mentors are in black T-shirts.

COURTESY PHOTO

The Atascadero High School robotics team is heading to St. Louis, Mo., next month to participate in its fourth international championship in a row.

The Greybots and their robot, Predator, will compete against roughly 400 high school teams from around the globe at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition World Championship on April 23 through 26, team adviser Jan Price said.

Traveling to St. Louis are 15 Atascadero High students, about 10 Cal Poly student mentors and 10 family members, Price said.

On March 9, the Greybots teamed up with two San Jose teams, The Cheesy Poofs and Presentation Invasion, to win the Central Valley Regional FIRST Robotics Competition in Madera, securing a spot at the World Championship.

According to Price, the competition involved programming the Predator robot to throw a 25-inch-diameter inflated ball through goals measuring 11 feet 6 inches wide and roughly 3 feet tall located nearly 7 feet above the floor. Bonus points were awarded for launching the ball over a 5-foot truss and assisting alliance partners in moving the ball down the field, she said.

“This was the plan from day one that we win this event,” Price said. “We’re very excited.”

Prince said this will be the Atascadero High robotics team’s sixth trip to the World Championship in 13 years.

The team won the World Championship in 2011, returning in 2012 to win the competition’s Excellence in Engineering award. The Greybots participated in the international competition last year but were eliminated in the quarterfinals, Price said.

This year, Price said, the Greybots are seeking donations to help cover the costs of attending the World Championship. Registration costs $5,000, she said, adding that flights, lodging, shipping and other expenses are expected to total an additional $20,000.

To learn more about the Greybots, contact Jan Price at 466-4195 or jljprice@charter.net or visit www.greybots.com.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Atascadero Education Foundation, P.O. Box 642, Atascadero 93423.

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