Video of the Patribots, along with Team Paradox (Encinitas), and The Daedalus Project (Escondido) and their climb to VICTORY (
The Patrick Henry High School robotics team, The Patribots, took home its first regional championship this weekend after a three-day long competition at The Del Mar Fairgrounds. This is the fifth year for the team but its first year making it into quarter-finals, let alone winning and getting into semi-finals and then finals.
After two days of qualifying matches the Patribots were ranked 14th with a 5-3 record. Overcoming a broken chain and a disabling collision that led to losses in two of their qualifying matches. The ranking was good enough to the to get them into the elimination finals as the second team selected during the alliance selections.
The Patribot’s small, quick robot proved itself in the finals by living up to its name, The Gear Gopher. Yet, it was its last second climb in the best-two-of-three finals that sparked a roar that rocked the arena. With less than a second left in the match, the Patribot’s touch pad light turned blue--final score: Blue 307, Red 305. The Patribots were champions.
As the jubilation subsided, the team took a moment to recall their road to this championship. The previous year’s failures taught valuable lessons. In 2015 the team placed 49th. In 2016, mechanical failures mounted as the tournament pressed on and the team left the San Diego Regional ranked at the bottom.
This year, a team dedicated to learning from its mistakes emerged. Led by Design Lead and Build Lead, the team did the math as they designed, prototyped, and modified the robot’s design. The teams 32 student members and nine adult mentors worked to make this a successful season. As they built a robot, Team Vice President led community outreach. A fanbase of local youth, parents, families, and PHHS staff grew because they were invited into the build space for the team to reveal their progress and share their growth and excitement. At the tournament, the fanbase was present. They were decked in green and shouting, “Go Patribots!”
This year’s game, STEAMWORKS, challenges teams to work together in alliances to gather gears, collect fuel, and climb four feet high.
The Patribots are organized into subsystem groups that work to complete the demanding tasks of the 2017 challenge. Working Monday through Friday from 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm, and all day Saturday, members balance demanding courses like AP Physics and Calculus as they dedicate hours to design, build, and program the robot.
Through the challenges of workshop noise and team responsibilities, the Patribots make time to study. Members support each other with homework. They often assist other engineering students in completing projects, keeping the FIRST ethic of “gracious professionalism”. The team is eager to share its excitement for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) with others in accordance with the team’s motto: “Robotics is for EVERYONE!”
The 2017 robot stands 30” tall and can lift its 120 lbs four feet high by deploying its onboard winch. As the robot rises, so too is the team working to rise. Members of the Patribots work with local schools, to share robotics experiences that inspire interest in the application of math and science.
The Patribots are proud to represent Patrick Henry High School (PHHS) in the 2017 For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST®) Robotics STEAMWORKSSM Championships. The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®) Championships will be held April 19th through 22nd in Houston, Texas. A field of 400 elite teams from over 40 nations will compete to take home the prestigious title of FRC Champion. In order to get to the competition, the team will need to raise $25,000 and are currently looking for additional corporate sponsors and donations. $5000 to cover the entrance fees and $1000/person for twenty students and mentors to attend the competition, including airfare, room and board for 4 days.