The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Wrapping up robotics

The robotics team season comes to an end, team remains optimistic for the future
Joshua Limbruner
The robotics team cheers has competition ramps up at Jefferson High School. Red Alert ended their season in a tiebreaker off of a technical foul incurred during the match.

Imagine the roar of the crowd as the bleachers shake with feet stomping and the smell of popcorn in the air as the time runs out on the field. The robots are all stopped as the crowd goes silent, drivers put down their robot controllers and everyone awaits the final score.

The team holds its collective breath. They saw the referee’s flag going up to signal a technical foul, but don’t yet know if the penalty was fatal to the final score.

It was.

As the animation for the final score shows up on the screen, Center Grove’s own Red Alert Robotics team has been eliminated from the State Championship. The score was tied 79-79, and the opposing team was awarded the win due to the technical foul.

There’s a process to object. There’s a brief discussion, and then while the drive team heads back to the pits, junior Jed Roberts, driver of Red Alert’s robot, Apollo, goes to the question box to object to the score of the match.

“We objected to the score as the tiebreaker was due to a [technical] foul,” Roberts said.

In, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics, there are two teams made up of three different robots. The technical foul in question was due to one of Red Alert’s partner robots coming into contact with an opposing team entering the opponent’s safe zone.

“We believed that there wasn’t any contact in the zone and wanted to get it reviewed again,” Roberts said. “As far as how I felt personally to it, I don’t believe tiebreakers like that shouldn’t occur, and the match should be replayed.”

Additionally, Red Alert was hopeless since their robot shut down and couldn’t not perform its necessary functions.

“We got hit by another robot in this match, and our main connection and failsafe backup for our radio both failed, so our robot was effectively dead on the field,” Strategy Lead Anubhav Majumdar said. “With us not being able to do anything, we knew it was going to be a close match.”

Even with the unfortunate events that ended Red Alert’s season, Majumdar looks back on the season thinking about the good that has happened.

“Although we ended off a bit distraught, State at Jefferson High School was still an amazing time and excellent opportunity for us to shine,” Majumdar said. “We started off in qualification matches strong but fell through some matches we had a decent shot of winning.”

Red Alert ended up No. 5 in the state after their Plainfield competition, but before the playoff matches on Sunday, they were seeded No. 27, a placement that they were unfamiliar with since they finished as runner-ups in the two competitions prior to state.

“We fixed the minor issues on the robot, and Sunday fared better for us as we won all of our qualification matches,” Majumdar said. “The robot was performing very well for our matches, which still got us into the playoffs.”

While the playoff matches are being played, awards are handed out to teams based on their performance with the robot, things they do outside of robotics and their impact on the community.

“As we waited for the rest of the matches to finish in the stands, we won the Gracious Professionalism award at State,” Majumdar said. “[This] is an honorable award for the main ideals of FIRST Robotics, and it’s our first time winning this award in team history which was exciting.”

Red Alert 1741 showcased Apollo at a convocation in the Vandermeer Gym on Tuesday to the rest of the student body, demonstrating how it collects foam rings and shoots them in the air at varying velocities. With this season and the process of Apollo’s construction and competition behind them, the robotics team looks towards the future with optimism despite their tiebreaker loss this year. Roberts said he is looking towards next season.

“The robot performed very well, more than it has in the past couple of years, and is one of the top bots in Indiana as well as the US and the world,” Roberts said. “Our team is on track for a really strong performance next year, and I believe that the team will be prepared more for next season, and that we will be able to challenge ourselves even more with the design of our robot than we have this year.”


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