The Iron Panthers participated in an offseason First Robotics Competition (FRC) on Sept. 30. The tournament, Chezy Champs, was held in San Jose with some of the best robotics teams in the world. The Iron Panthers underperformed, placing 42nd out of the 42 participants in the tournament.
The robotics team lost many key members with the graduation of last year’s class, and as a result, it had had to work hard to fill their absences.
“Two people from our drive team last year left for college, so we have trained some new members to take their place,” senior Maxim Yu said. “Since they do not have as much experience with driving the robot, they could not [have performed at the same level] as the people from last year. However, I am fully confident that they can do so with enough practice.”
Chezy Champs is a highly competitive tournament that entails a rigorous application process, and the Iron Panthers competed with members who had only had a few weeks of experience compared to the seniors’ four years.
“I think we were too confident for [Chezy Champs], and we had too high expectations,” senior Junha Park said. The team was expecting a better performance, but the results, though bad, are not a great indicator of the team’s potential.
“[The team’s attitude is] positive . . . we're gearing up for the competition season starting in January,” senior and Programming Lead Andrew Cummings said.
Another tournament the Iron Panthers have been preparing for is the off-season Capital City Classic, which takes place in Davis, starting Oct. 26 and ending Oct. 28. Some members are looking to this tournament as a chance to redeem themselves and demonstrate the progress they have made.
“We are excited for Capital City Classic because we know that we can do better and we want to prove ourselves. Also, we learned a lot during Chezy and we have made a few changes to our robot,” Park said. “It's going to be an easier competition than Chezy, but we can't relax too much.”