K-State to compete at nationals after sweeping top spots at regional collegiate robotics competition
Friday, May 20, 2022
K-State Team Takeoff took first place at the regional BOTSKC robotics competition. Team members include, from left: Josh Fitzwater, Nathan Diehl, Ty Mathews, Shane McIntosh, Luke Ragland, Ben Huff, Troy Sanson and Emily Pine. | Download this photo.
MANHATTAN — Two teams from the Kansas State University Robotics Competition Team will compete at the National Robotics League Championship and College Invitational Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, after sweeping first and second place at the regional competition in April.
Both squads qualified for the national competition at the Robert Morris University UPMC Events Center in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, after strong showings at the April 22-23 regional competition, called BOTSKC. The two teams ultimately faced off against each other for first place, with Team Takeoff claiming the top spot over Team Power Kitten MKII.
The regional event, sponsored by the National Robotics League, is a double-elimination, single-combat battle tournament bracket. For each battle, two teams put their robots into opposite corners and the first team to break, flip or otherwise incapacitate the other robot wins. If time runs out before there is a clear winner, a panel of judges declares a winner.
The squads from the Carl R. Ice College of Engineering competed in the 15-pound weight class and in addition to head-to-head battles, competed in video interviews and written documentation segments.
"Our professionalism and preparedness earned the respect of our competitors," said Ty Mathews, sophomore in mechanical engineering and captain of Team Takeoff. "However, it was our bots' robust design and nimble drivetrain that earned us first place in the college division of BOTSKC."
Team Power Kitten MKII had to rebound from a 0-1 start to end the day in the championship match.
"Power Kitten MKII was plagued by electrical and mechanical issues the whole event, but our amazing pit crew took us from a 0-1 record at the start of the competition to a 6-2 record, winning us second place in the college division," said Alex Howard, senior in electrical engineering and captain of Team Power Kitten MKII. "The largest issue we faced was screws loosening from large impacts."
Both teams have put in the work over the last month to prepare for the tougher competition they'll face this weekend.
"Our team is full of members that put 100% into their work, and we could not have done what we did without each of them," Howard said. "We are all excited to see how the robot performs at the national event now that the issues we experienced are resolved."
Members from Team Takeoff include: Nathan Diehl, junior in computer engineering; Josh Fitzwater, junior in electrical engineering; Ben Huff, sophomore in computer engineering; Ty Mathews, sophomore in mechanical engineering; Shane McIntosh, sophomore in mechanical engineering; Emily Pine, junior in mechanical engineering; Luke Ragland, freshman in biomedical engineering; and Troy Sanson, sophomore in mechanical engineering, all from Olathe.
Members from Team Power Kitten MKII include: David Ochner, senior in electrical engineering, Fort Riley; Aurora Gray, senior in electrical engineering, Lansing; Quinlan Brown, junior in social work; Alex Howard, senior in electrical engineering; Will Kelly, senior in mechanical engineering; and Ashton Weaver, junior in industrial engineering, all from Olathe; and Ethan Gabrielson, sophomore in mechanical engineering, Chillicothe, Missouri.