The Los Alamos Team 4153 Project Y Robot at the 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships April 20-23 in Houston. Photo Courtesy LAPS
The Los Alamos Team 4153 Project Y Robotics four-team alliance took fourth place out of 350 teamsparticipating in the 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships April 20-23 in Houston. Photo Courtesy/LAPS
BY EVAN LONG
The Los Alamos Team 4153 Project Y Robotics Team participated in the 2022 FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics World Championships on April 20 to 23, 2022. At this highest level of competition, they won their division and their four-team alliance went on to finish 4th in the world out of more than 350 teams in the world level competition who qualified from almost 4,000 active teams in 51 countries. The George R Brown Convention Center in Houston where the FIRST Robotics Worlds Championships were held, hosted over 18,000 enthusiastic participants and spectators. It was a showcase of the most remarkable and innovative robotic engineering by high school students from around the world.
The 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships is the culmination of contests within each of the participating countries. The Los Alamos Team 4153 Project Y qualified initially in the Regional events and moved on to the District competition. New Mexico shares a district with Texas and the Los Alamos students competed there against over 120 teams. At the District competition, Team 4153 Project Y won the “Engineering Inspiration Award” which celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering within a team’s organization and community. Winning this award represented a huge accomplishment in itself, but also guaranteed them a chance at the World Competition.
Each team is comprised of high school students who designed and built their robot to accomplish a set of skills specified by the FIRST organization. This included developing a robot to rapidly retrieve basketball-sized balls and shoot them into a basket – a portion of the time autonomously – and then lift its 140-pound frame up three uneven ascending parallel bars to a height of nearly eight feet, all within a limited time frame. This required maintaining a high degree of agility and maneuverability to accomplish these feats while playing intensively head-to-head with other robots in a confined arena.
As the only New Mexican team which qualified for the world championships, they are proud to have represented their state so well. The Los Alamos Project Y students and their mentors displayed creativity in engineering design and tenacity in problem solving throughout the process. But equally commendable were their exemplary team work, comradery and willingness to help others who encountered technical challenges with their robots at the competitions.
The FIRST Robotics organization is not only a robotic competition inviting students to remarkably push the envelope of STEM, but in large part it fosters teamwork among students and goodwill with others from diverse cultures.
The view from the stands as Los Alamos Team 4153 Project Y Robotics Team participates in the 2022 FIRST Robotics World Championships April 20-23 in Houston. Photo Courtesy LAPS
Another view of the robot in action. Photo Courtesy LAPS