April 9th was the start of what proved to be a breakout week for Wheatley’s Robotics Team, the Cybercats. The week consisted of two different competitions—both held at Hofstra University and both part of the FIRST Robotics series.
The FIRST Robotics competition is the nation’s premier competition for high school robotics teams. For the ninth consecutive year, Wheatley has fielded a team in the regional competition for this event. Schools from across Long Island and the tri-state area compete in this event.
Within the guidelines of the competition rules, students are required to design a robot that would work with other teams in tasks reminiscent of a popular video game. You can view the sample video here:
It was an outstanding week, with the Cybercats performing exceptionally well at both competitions. Of course, the team had high expectations coming off their Half Hallow Hills robotics finals appearance this past year. It has been an extraordinarily prosperous season, as the Cybercats gained the mentorship and partnership of Orics Industries, owned by Ori Cohen a mechanical engineering and volunteer mentor.
The Cybercats, led by seniors Elan Mizhiritski and Abhishek Kumer, helped direct the design, fabrication and coding of this year’s impressive robot. With the help of volunteer mentor, Jonathan Goodman (Class of 2016) and Omri Cohen (Class of 2011), Wheatley earned its first major tournament award, taking home the General Motors Industrial Design Award. This award is given to a team that Celebrates form and function in an efficiently designed machine that effectively addresses the game challenge. The guidelines are as follows:
The design is elegant and efficient (simple/executable) and practical. The entire machine reflects a system design approach, i.e., the overall machine design addresses the many functional systems that must operate together.Designing the machine contributes to the team’s success in FIRST – not just in performance on the field of competition.Reliability and maintainability are considered in design. For example, it is capable of withstanding the rigors of the contest and servicing is easy.The entire machine design, or the detailed process used to develop the design, is worthy of this recognition, and not just a single component.
In addition to such a prestigious recognition, The Wheatley Cybercats earned their first regional semi-finals appearance, just missing the Worlds Games qualifications by 1 match. This has been an incredible season for the team, as we continue to grow and promote STEM in the community.
Thank you to the Cybercats advisor, Patrick Hurley, for his incredible energies and support throughout the season. Thanks as well to Joe Fina, who helped with many aspects of the design! Thanks as well to Patrick Hurley for help with the write-up of the week!