BreakerBots Represent Well at CalGames

BreakerBots at CalGames

Written by Eli Swanson, Newsbreaker Staff


Directions to the local hardware store in hand, the Pacific Grove BreakerBots headed to Woodside High School to compete in the 2014 CalGames robotics competition on October 3 and 4. Presented by the Western Region Robotics Forum, the competition pitted the BreakerBots against 37 other teams from area high schools in a game called “aerial assist.” The game was created by FIRST, a national organization that promotes ways of inspiring students in the fields of engineering and technology, for their national tournament earlier this year. In just their second year of competition, the BreakerBots attained a respectable result, finishing in 27th place out of  38 competing teams. Additionally, the team took home hardware for their creativity and problem solving.

Team 5104 competed in nine matches that pitted alliances of three different teams against each other in battles to accrue points. The aim of the game was to throw a ball into one of the other alliance’s eight goal openings (as seen marked in yellow in photo). Alliance members could earn extra points for assisting their team members on a goal. The BreakerBots started with a tough loss but quickly bounced back to win their second match 118-13. Maintaining their pace through the next six matches, the team held a record of four wins and four losses going into what would prove to be their final match. In their eighth match, the BreakerBots’ alliance held on for a narrow 16-point margin of victory. The ninth and final match was a loss for the team representing Pacific Grove, but an unexpected victory elsewhere brightened their spirits.

Although Team 5104 did not qualify for the elimination round of competition with their record of four wins and five losses, the BreakerBots took home a separate award for their ingenuity. At the CalGames, the judges awarded a trophy not just to the team finishing with the best record, but also to a team whose, according to FIRST, “unique efforts, performance, or dynamics merited recognition.” When an element of their robot fell into disrepair, the BreakerBots turned, as many do, to duct tape. The use of the cloth-backed tape helped the team through their schedule of matches, catching the eyes of the judges. Congratulations to the BreakerBots for representing PGHS well at CalGames 2014!