The Atascadero High School robotics team now ranks among the best in the world.
Greyhound Revolutionary Robotics took first place at the FIRST Robotics Challenge World Championships in St. Louis last week, sharing its win with teams from San Jose and Cook County, Ill.
According to team adviser Janet Price, 11 Atascadero High students, three adult mentors and three college-aged mentors traveled to the championship held April 27 through April 30 at St. Louis’ Edward Jones Dome.
There, they competed against more than 350 high school teams from across the globe in a high-tech sporting event sponsored by the non-profit organization FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.
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This year’s championship featured the game “Logo Motion,” which involved two team alliances competing on a flat 27-by-54-foot field.
Students had just six weeks to build two robots — one capable of picking up large inflated triangles, squares and circles and placing them in a certain order on pegs on a wall, and a smaller robot able to climb up a pole — as well as a practice ’bot.
Price said 30,000 people watched the final match while countless others tuned in via live webcast.
“That was the first time we had been under that scrutiny,” she said. “I was so impressed by the poise our players showed.”
Price hopes that the Greyhound Revolutionary Robotics victory will lead to more attention and funding for the 14-member team, now in its 10th year.
Although the Atascadero High team was able to raise $50,000 this year via rummage sales, e-waste recycling events, local grants and other donations, it lacks the extensive corporate backing that many teams enjoy.
“We don’t have a lot of big companies in this area to support us,” Price said, noting that industry giants Boeing, Google, Microsoft and Motorola sponsor FIRST teams.
The community can meet members of the Greyhound Revolution Robotics team and see a demonstration by team robot Titan on June 4 at the STEM Showcase at Cuesta College.
The free event, which lasts from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will also feature appearances by robotics teams from Arroyo Grande and Orcutt high schools.
“This program can really change kids’ lives,” Price said of STEM, which supports science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. “It opens them up to the fact that technology can be interesting and exciting and challenging.”
For more information about Greyhound Revolutionary Robotics, call 466-4195 or visit www.greybots.com.