In March 2017, the Taipei American School FRC robotics team “Raid Zero” earned first place in the First Robotics Competition Regionals (FRC) held in Hawaii. Due to their outstanding performance in the regionals, the TAS team gained the chance to compete in the FRC World Championships, held in St. Louis Missouri on May. In the World Championships, the team continued to compete vigorously with approximately 400 other teams and were able to get to the quarter finals.
The FRC is a robotics competition where teams are given a task for which they will need to build a robot. Each season, the teams have 6 weeks to build a robot that meet size and weight regulations. Prior to Hawaii, the team had to first show their capability in Australia at The South Pacific Regionals. The TAS robotics team earned second place in the South Pacific Regionals, which enabled the team to gain confidence for the Hawaii Regionals, and ultimately the FRC World Championships.
For this year’s FRC, the theme was FIRST Streamworks. The goal for the competing robots was to deliver gear, shoot, and climb within the time of the competition. Katherine Chen (10), who was part of the team for the South Pacific Regionals, says, “the TAS team’s robot focused on delivering gears. The robot had a pneumatic gear-delivery system that pushed gears onto a piston.” Furthermore, the robot was capable in climbing ropes, approximately 1.4 meters high, in five seconds and had a gear shift that allowed two speed modes. The two modes enabled the robot to travel in high speeds. This ability was especially crucial and efficient to the team as the robot needed to travel the entire length of the field, faster than the opponents during the competition. Katherine believes one of the strength of their robot is the strong base that allows it to be “really good at physical contact and defense.” The base of the robot was made of thick metal about 10 mm long that helped with the robot’s stability.
Through this experience, the TAS FRC robotics team proved their teamwork and showed potential for TAS robotics. The team is especially thrilled about their accomplishments as they truly believe through everyone’s contribution, the team was able to be champions at Hawaii and perform at the FRC World Championships. Tiffany Ma (12), a programmer for the team, says she is very proud of how far they have come from the very first FRC team in TAS. “Six years ago, the first FRC team had 6 members, working at a library’s basement. Now, we have a robotics lab, with [more than] 40 members all contributing [with] ideas. I couldn’t be more proud of the growth of our team.”