BreakerBots: The Journey to Houston


Written by Mitali Chowdhury, Journalist

FIRST Robotics Competition’s 2018 season is about to reach its peak at the World Championships in Texas and Michigan—and Pacific Grove’s own BreakerBots will be in Houston to participate in this action-packed, inspiring event.

Their journey to the world championships began in January when this year’s game, Power Up, was announced. The nearly 300 teams who will be competing at Houston, including the BreakerBots, designed, built, and programmed a robot that could move cubes into switches and a scale, drive autonomously, and lift itself up to earn points at competition. A strong performance in the qualification matches of a regional competition allows a team to compete in the elimination play-offs, where the winning alliance gets a ticket to the world championship.

This is exactly what the BreakerBots hoped to achieve at the Central Valley Regional in Fresno this past weekend. With hard work and dedication both before and during the preparation period at the competition on Friday, the BreakerBots passed inspection and jumped into the practice rounds. This time on the field set them up for a strong start in the qualifications Saturday morning. Despite some small difficulties and breakdowns in between matches, the pit crew worked quickly to get their robot, Athena, back on the field.

When the time came to form alliances for the finals, the captains of the second seeded alliance selected the BreakerBots as one of two teams to compete with them. An exciting afternoon of intense matches lead to the finals, where the BreakerBots and their alliance faced the first seed alliance. Although the games were close, the first seed alliance prevailed as the winner.

However, since two of the three teams on the victorious alliance had previously qualified for the world championship, the BreakerBots were awarded a wildcard ticket to Houston. The team is extremely thrilled to be attending the tournament for a second year, and they have an action-packed ten days ahead of them to prepare for the event. In addition to the regular costs of competition such as meals and rooms, the team must find ways to finance the costs of shipping Athena, paying the registration fee, and buying last minute plane tickets to Houston. If you would like to see the team to help the BreakerBots succeed at the championships, please visit the following link to donate:

Thank you for your support, and best of luck to the BreakerBots at the World Championships!