By: Victoria H. (’24)
The 2020 Taiwan regionals took place on Nov. 5-8. The two TAS teams, “Raid Zero” (4253) and “Raid One” (8503), both received numerous awards. “Raid Zero”—a teaam which mostly consists of upperclassmen—was a finalist. “Raid One,” which was newly formed with a majority of sophomores and freshmen, also demonstrated an outstanding performance. They played in the semifinals and earned the Highest Rookie Seed Award.
Most of the 2020 FIRST Robotics Competition regional tournaments were canceled due to COVID-19 coronavirus. Taiwan is the only country that was able to host a FRC event in-person this year. Although the TAS teams have never won the world championships before, they have qualified for it multiple times.
The organizers of Taiwan’s regional event decided to stream the competition on Twitch under the username ‘esunrobot.’ “What’s cool about this event is that the FRC community is huge with something like 9000 teams around the world, and they’re really passionate about it. So, everyone from around the world was going to be watching the livestream,” Director of the Tech Cube, Mr. Fagen said.
The two-day livestream had more than 11,000 views with a majority from outside of Taiwan.
In a normal season, the TAS FRC team would consist of about 50 members, 20-24 of which are selected for a travel team to represent TAS at the tournaments.
This year, only eight people per team were allowed to travel due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The heads and their trainees of each essential section (electric, mechanic, logistics, software, statistics, design) are the travel team this year. TAS has decided to send two teams for a total of 16 people.
To compete in FRC, the TAS FRC students originally travelled to Hawaii, Australia or Detroit to compete in regional competitions. However, with permission from FIRST, the host organization of FRC, the government began hosting regional FRC competitions here in Taiwan.
The TAS 2012 FRC team was the first team in Southeast Asia to compete in FRC. Since then, TAS has started over 28 teams in Taiwan, earning community outreach awards from FIRST.
Formosa VEX took place on Dec. 5-6 in the Joie US Gymnasium. 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the VEX competition. However, The Blue & Gold went to press before the VEX competition and was unable to update this article with specific results.