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Robots at Friends Academy

On April 6th 2013, Friends Academy’s Zach Sulzman went to the Pembroke Academy in New Hampshire for a robotics competition. This is the first time that Friends Academy has ever enlisted in a robotics competition and came back very successful with the first place honors.
In this competition everyone has his or her own robots. They are given about 40 bean bags and have to pick them up and place them in 18”x18” boxes. There are 3 different levels of boxes: floor, regular, and high. For every beanbag that is placed in a floor box it counts as 1 point, the regular box counts as 5 points, and the high box counts as 10 points. The regular box was about 20 inches off the ground and the high box was about 35 inches off the ground. The person controlling the robot can choose which box he or she would want to drop their bean bags in. If you drop the beanbag and it’s not inside a box you are not allowed to pick it up so it is a risk trying to go for the higher boxes.
Before Zach could go to New Hampshire to compete in the regional finals, he needed to win at qualifiers at Hofstra week before. Zach came in second in this competition but was very close to the first seed. The top 3 robots qualified to go to New Hampshire so Zach earned his place in regionals.
When Zach was at regionals there were about 30 teams there. Friends Academy being new to the program only had 1 robot on their team but most teams had 2 or 3 robots. There were about 100 different robots in total.
I had the pleasure to talk to Zach about this competition. He told me that he was surprised to win. He was nervous going into the competition but he brought his a game. He took the risk and did not use any of the floor boxes because he knew if he wanted to win he would have to use the regular and high boxes.
Zach Sulzman went to New Hampshire for Friends Academy and brought home the gold. We look forward to see our reigning champion go back to the competition to try for a repeat.

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