Robotics Team Qualifies for State Championship

Loomis Chaffee’s robotics team, HAX Robotics, qualified for the FIRST Robotics 2020 Connecticut state championship with its performance at a qualifying competition on Saturday, January 11, in Winsted, Conn.

Captained by seniors Julia Hoffman, Adam McDonagh, and Aarman Pannu and junior Peyton Sandridge, the team has been working since the fall term to design, build, and program a robot that moves and stacks “stones” that look like large LEGO bricks, which the team put to the test at Saturday’s event.

Team HAX soared to the top in the qualifying rounds at Saturday’s competition, advancing to the semifinal and final games. Based on its performance in the qualifying rounds, HAX was a “captain” team for the finals, earning the opportunity to choose another team as its partner for an alliance in the final round. (In FIRST Robotics competitions each side consists of a two-team alliance.)

Although the Loomis alliance didn’t win the championship game, it scored well enough to advance to the state competition in late February. The judges also presented the team with a Design Award for the balance of form, function, and aesthetics in its robot.

HAX is working toward another qualifier competition on January 25, the team’s last competition before the state championships, which will take place on February 22 at Windsor High School.

The team is advised by Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI) faculty members Ewen Ross and Jen Solomon.