Behind The Scenes Of The AHS Robotics Team At Robot Rumble

Ye Yint Hmine, Staff Writer

As the gates open, they rush in, working together as technicians to fix and scan for any problems, each of the members cheer “GO FALCONS!”, an intense moment during the competition, Robot Rumble.

Robot rumble is a single day, off-season competition used to train new members of the FRC robotics teams, but above all, to come together to bond over a shared passion. It is a fierce battle between 6 robots, 3 on each alliance, the blue vs the red alliance. During this competition, 3 teams from 3 high schools worked together on their robots to compete. The team representing Albany High School is called 1493.

In the early morning around 6 am, the team arrived at their high school, loading the robot and gear. They then took a bus to Ballston Spa High School, the place where many teams were going to come together to compete, high schools came from all over to participate. Unloading the robot, and starting to plan their game plan, each member of the team split into their groups. Drivers included Kevin Mcleod, Jackson Shanifar, and Jacob Levine, while operators included Jacob Levine, Kevin Mcleod, and Gavin Hammer. Taking up the back wheels of the drive team were the Human Players, Cole Solomon, and Karly Grant and the Technicians, Arianna Costello, Makki Gally, and Ye Yint Hmine/Richard.

The team that pulled the robot together during pit stops and were the literal nuts and bolts of the day were the Pit members including leader Dorothy Sperry, and team members, Nathan Martel, Arianna Costello, Makki Gally, and Ye Yint Hmine/Richard. The Safety team included Endri Hoxha, Saugat Shah, and Trent Minarich, while Scouts were Abdul Sobur Fagbenro, Anya Miller, Ben Conti, Gay Shee, Kselektra Shimbilko, Lucy Hiles, Seven Brandt, Shakif Ahnaf, and Tayab.  All in all about 20 falcons came together under the leadership of mentors, Mr. Allen, Mr. Cady, Mr. Casanga, and Mr. Kissane to crush the competition.

After arrival, the robot had a problem with a sensor, limelight detection, due to this, the technicians was assigned to solve the problem. During the first round of the match, the drivers did an amazing job, ranking in the top 10. During each round, the scouts searched for the tactics that the other team used, and helped plan tactics for the drivers. In addition, the scouts also had to search for who to be in the alliance. The technicians and pit members, were busy fixing the robot, and changing the batteries.  This required teamwork, and incredible communication skills. Even though the harsh moments, they persevered through and made their way to the final.  They went into the final in fourth place but allied with the third place winners to become second place overall for the alliances going into the finals.

There was heavy support from student sections, including flags and chants.  The mentors stood near the field to supervise and coach the drivers and operators. The drive teams on the alliances make a plan to work together. After 20+ rounds, they were in the final. The drivers and operators worked well together with the support and cheers from the stands. At last, the results came, their Alliance received 2nd place, winning an award.

After the intense day, they arrived back at the school to put the robot and gear away. The team came out strong, with new members actively collaborating with the veteran members to learn the nooks and crannies of competition jobs. Overall, the competition prepares them for what is to come.  The next competitions are the Finger Lake competitions from March 16-18th, and the Tech Valley competition at the Albany MVP arena on March 30th-April 1st.

If you want to join the robotics team, talk to or email any of the tech teachers in the old building.