Robot Built At San Leandro High Wins Contest

Student-made robot won a qualifying round that advances the local team to the next stage in a prestigious competition.


A robot built by San Leandro High School students recently took first place in a qualifying contest that sends the team to the next round in a competition sponsored by FIRST.org, whose challenges are like the SuperBowl of robotics.

The San Leandro High Robopirates and their mechanical creation, 5629, scored their win on February 4 at Valley Christian High School in San Jose.

FIRST is an acronym -- For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology.

The FIRST Tech Challenge, in which the Robopirates took part, is a mid-level competition designed to give high school students experience in programming, engineering and teamwork.

5629 scored points by pushing bowling balls or crates into a goal, and by lifting crates and placing small rubber balls into the crates, according to a press release from elated officials at the San Leandro Unified High School District.

The course had ramps and obstacles to flummox or topple the robots. The competition involved some cooperation. In each round, two allied teams joined forces to earn more points than another pair of robots.

The Robopirates and 5629 won the final qualifying round in an alliance with The Pink Fluffy Unicorns from Fremont.

The Robopirates will now compete in the Northern California FIRST Tech Championship Tournament on Sunday, March 4 at Newark Memorial High School.

The Robopirates are: Team Captain Martin Martinez; Robot Driver Ricky Liu; Substitute Driver Jacob Miller; Pit Crew members, Hansley Wijaya, Malik Cato and Andy Wong; Project Manager Nikki Romero; Head Mechanic Daniel Gomez; and Coach Bianca Luna.

San Leandro High School teachers Sarah Kayler and Rick Styner mentored the Robopirates, with help from former teacher Randy Picolet and community volunteer Erik Wilmot.

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Chris Crow February 17, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Congrats RoboPirates! Thank you to the teachers and community volunteers who make this program possible for students here in San Leandro.
Mike Katz-Lacabe February 17, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Kudos to the RoboPirates and best wishes for your continued success.
Eric S. Harris February 20, 2012 at 01:08 PM
It strikes me as very 21st century. Robert Heinlein did not live in vain.
Eric S. Harris February 20, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Oh, and so does this description of what a machinist needs to know -- http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2012/02/adam_davidson_o.html -- at about16:50 in the podcast transcript.
Erik Wilmot July 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Erik Wilmot (team mentor) Thanks for all the encouragement. Please let us know if you're interested in donating time, expertise, services, or money to the team for next year's robot design. We took 11th place in the entire Bay Area this year, and we're already gearing up (literally and figuratively) for next years competition. Go San Leandro ! erik_wilmot@yahoo.com


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