Local high schools gearing up for National Robotics Competition - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local high schools gearing up for National Robotics Competition

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Local high school robotics teams are gearing up to represent Hawaii in the FIRST National Robotics Competition.

Kamehameha- Kapalama, Waialua, Maui and Mckinley high schools captured the top honors at the FIRST Regional Robotics Competition last month at the Stan Sheriff Center.

This year's regional challenge, "aerial assist," was played by two competing "alliances" of three robots each. Each alliance was made on the fly based on judgements of individual teams. Teams battled on a flat 25' x 54' foot field, straddled by a lighting truss suspended five feet above the floor. Teams skillfully maneuvered their robots to throw balls into a goal.

"We had to build a 'bot that maintained a low center of gravity, which performed well, high speeds and could pass and shoot and effectively," Kamehameha Schools Robotics Team member Dylan Keaweehu said. "Do anything we needed it to do."

The top three regional copetition winners automatically qualified for the national competition coming up at the end of April. They will be competing against 39 other teams from around the world including Australia and Taiwan.

"I'm fairly confident in gong into this competition. We held our own throughout the regional at the Stan Sheriff," Keaweehu said.

Teams have been anxiously preparing their robot products for the past six weeks. 

"We put in a full six weeks, multiple hours a day building our robot from pieces of scrap, and iron," Keaweehu said. "I feel that we have a chance at showing that Kamehameha Schools is very good at robotics.

The FIRST National Championship will be held in St. Louis, Missouri staring on April 26.

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