NAHS Robotics Club


Nicole Duffett, Senior Staff Writer

As of late, the North Arlington High School’s Robotics Club has engaged in two competitions. The competitions were hosted by VEX Robotics, a division of the Innovation First company dedicated to bringing accessibility to countless individuals interested in robotics. In both competitions, the Robotics Club participated in a game called Tower Takeover. The objective of the game was to score the most points by stacking cubes in a space called a score zone through the utilization of a group’s robot. In addition to the score zone, cubes could be stacked in higher spacers called towers. Each cube placed in a tower added more points to each cube stacked in the score zone. Each game was played with two teams, referred to as alliances. Every game also had two sections. One section, called the autonomous period, had the robot stack the cubes on its own. Whoever won the autonomous period got two extra cubes that could be implemented into the game whenever they desired. The second section, called the driver controlled period, had the robot follow the directions of whoever was handling its controller. 

The NAHS Robotics Club’s first competition took place at the Millburn High School on February 9th. The group was able to win four out of six qualification matches, and as a result, was ultimately ranked in eighteenth place out of fifty-nine other competitors. Due to their victories, they qualified for the elimination tournament. Unfortunately, they faced a loss. 

The following competition took place weeks later in Cherry Hill on February 22nd. This time, the Robotics Club won one out of five qualifying matches and was unable to make it to the elimination tournament. When asked how the club could improve, as well as how challenging the competition was, Umair Khan, a member of the Robotics Club, stated, “It is worth mentioning that we really changed the robot since February 9, trying to upgrade so we could do better in competitions, and like I said, the last minute thing happened. Our robot was inconsistent all the way, and it was ineffective. Furthermore, we had low skilled allies, so nobody could carry us but ourselves, which, unfortunately, we were not ready to do. We ranked 50/57. We learned that it takes a long time to be ready for a tournament, more than just 2 weeks of last minute work.” 

Regardless of their losses, the Robotics Club seemed to really enjoy their time at these competitions. “I actually enjoyed this a lot,” said Umair, “I loved it when one of the robot’s drivers, Hussein Makki, would ask me if I can make the robot do such and such when he pressed a certain button on the controller and I told him I can make the robot do anything. Also, making the robot do things on its own in autonomous mode is actually really satisfying.” 

All in all, the NAHS Robotics Club performed superbly. In the coming future, they will definitely grow and improve!