Engineering The Future

Roboaztechs bring home a victory after NMSU BEST crossfire competition

By Ariana Arredondo   :  Aztec Gold Editor-in-Chief

The smell of donuts and orange juice lingers in the air as students frantically run around printing materials, gathering items and painting each other’s faces. This isn’t a typical student’s Saturday morning but for the Roboaztechs it’s a very important time as they scramble to get on the bus to New Mexico University in time to compete.

On Oct. 21, the Roboaztechs won second place overall at the NMSU BEST robotics competition, making them eligible to advance to regionals in Frisco, Texas. They were also awarded second place for best marketing presentation and best project engineering notebook.

“This competition is very interesting because everything you build your robot out of is made out of raw materials that are counted in a very specific way,” said junior Robotics Team President Alexa Hernandez said. “It’s one of the hardest competitions we participate in.”

BEST robotics is a competition where the robot has to complete multiple tasks such as picking up a small doll, shooting cups with ping pong balls and maneuvering around a small area for points. The team is also graded on an engineering notebook, a marketing presentation advertising their robot, team spirit and various other components.

The theme of the whole competition is “crossfire” and revolves around fire fighting. The cups are meant to represent fire, the ping pong balls are water and the doll is a real person they are saving from the fire. An even larger challenge is presented because each team is given a certain amount of materials to complete the tasks with. The Roboaztechs competed amongst 27 middle schools and high schools all ready to show their skills.

“Everything we’re doing right now is based off of luck and talent. We just have to hope for the best,” said junior Head of Engineering Annai Cuvelier.

At the end of the long day the team sat down at the bleachers and talked about their mistakes and their victories as a team and as individuals. They looked at their robot and began analyzing how they could improve it. The team did this out of habit but they soon learned their robot would have to battle through another round of this competition, since they did advance to compete in the regionals round. The Roboaztechs were also awarded third place for best team exhibit interview, third place for best spirit and sportsmanship, and fourth place for best robot.

Now they are working hard and preparing for regionals, which they also qualified for last year after winning third place overall in the BEST competition at NMSU.