Local robotics team wins top honours at weekend competition



By Ron Giofu


A-Team Robotics did an A-1 job on the weekend.

The local robotics team won the top overall prize at the FIRST Southwest International robotics competition held at Sandwich Secondary School. Allan Parks, one of the team’s coaches and mentors, said they took the top prize out of the 22 teams that attended.

“It was a good day,” he said. “The team did very well.”

The competition saw robots have to do similar tasks as last season, including putting balls in hoppers, gears on pegs and climbing a rope. It was a pre-season competition with the new season getting underway Jan. 1.

Parks said the robot underwent some modifications since the last time they competed.

“Those modifications the team made proved successful,” said Parks.

The team had about ten members last year and now has grown to 21 members. There are a lot of Grade 9 participants but some in other grades as well. They are all General Amherst High School students with the school itself becoming involved with the team on a more consistent basis.

“Word is spreading and the interest is coming,” said Parks.

A-Team Robotics won the FIRST Southwest International robotics competition over the weekend at Sandwich Secondary School. The Amherstburg team works out of Centreline, located on Alma St. (Submitted photo)

Wanda Coull de Bont, another coach and mentor, said the win was “pretty important because we haven’t won yet.” She said the pre-season event was to showcase the team to its new members and show what goes into a competition. New members got a chance to participate in various different ways.

“It made us feel all of our hard work paid off,” said Coull de Bont.

“It showed new members what competitions will be like even though it was at a slower pace,” said team member Ryan Harris.

Max Beadow said they won’t get “rookie points” this season so the robot has to be built well, though Parks pointed out they want to have two robots this season – one for competitions and another to practise on.

Beadow added it feels good the school is taking a greater interest and hopes it will expose the team to potential new members.

“We’re just excited for the new season. With new members, we’re ready to learn and have some fun,” he said, noting they don’t know the new challenges yet for the upcoming season. “Robotics is a big part of my life.”

Adam Tronchin said it was a good experience to win, even if it was a pre-season event.

“It was a good experience and lots of fun,” he said.

Tronchin added “it’s really good to be integrated into the school” and hopes that if that continues, it can help A-Team Robotics attract new members and sponsors.

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