Loomis Chaffee’s Robotics Team, HAX Robotics, qualified for the FIRST state championships by besting 16 teams from other schools to win a qualifying tournament on Saturday, January 15, at Wolcott High School in Wolcott, Conn.
Captained by seniors Alexa Becker, Asher Kornfeld, Jay Srivastava, and Andrew Park, the team has been working since the fall to design, build, and program a robot that lifts and moves "freight,” whiffle balls and small, weighted cubes, from one area to a designated “shipping hub” in another area of the competition floor.
Team HAX moved to the top of the competition by winning all five of its qualifying rounds and advancing to the semifinal games. Based on its performance in the qualifying rounds, HAX was a “captain” team, earning the opportunity to choose another team as its partner for an alliance in the semifinal and final rounds. (In the semifinal and final rounds of FIRST Robotics competitions, each side consists of a two-team alliance.)
The Loomis alliance, the No. 1 seed, won its semifinal round, beating the No. 4 seed 2-1 and won the finals 2-0 against an alliance formed by the only other undefeated team in the tournament. The judges also chose HAX for the Innovation Award for the original design of its robot.
HAX is working toward its next tournament to be held on February 5 at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Conn.
Pearse Hub for Innovation (PHI) faculty members Ewen Ross and Jen Solomon advise the team.