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The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Robotics Team 303 participated in first competition of the year

Ayushmaan Mukherjee

The Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s Robotics Team 303  attended its first competition for this academic year on Saturday, November 11.

Known as the Brunswick Eruption, the event had a fairly large attendance even though it was an off-season competition. Over 40 teams participated, including one international team from Brazil. It took place at the North Brunswick Township High School.

Approximately 25 members of Team 303 were in attendance at the event, including various new members. The drive team for the school consisted of five people: Aarav Sureban (driver), Arav Kewalia (technician), Claire Zhu (operator and controller of the arm), Dhitika Madduri (human player and feeder of cones and cubes into the field) and Andrew Thoms (coach).

They were assisted in between rounds by a pit crew of Simran Agarwala, Ayush Singhal, Sahel Abraham, Liana Wowk and Ved Sonar. Most of the other members scouted the performance of other teams to provide Team 303 with a better understanding of its competition, giving new members valuable experience for the actual competition season.

Each individual match, standard for all First Robotics competitions, consists of two alliances, with three teams fielding one robot each per alliance. Each match has three phases: auto, in which the robots operate autonomously using pre-made code; tele-opp, when each team’s pilots take control of the robots to earn points; and endgame, in which the robots get their final couple of points and balance on the charge station, an unstable platform that each robot has to maneuver on to properly balance within the time limit.

In both auto and tele-opp, the robots work together to bring cones and cubes from across the playing field back to their own side and place them on either raised poles or cubicles. Points are awarded based on their performance during the match as well as any penalties that may have occurred during the game.

The first part of the competition included 28 matches, out of which Team 303 participated in 3. Unfortunately, the team did not qualify for the playoffs due to technical issues with the robot hindering the team’s performance.

During the first round, a gearbox responsible for operating the arm needed to pick up cones and cubes was damaged, rendering the arm inoperable for the remaining duration of the match. Therefore, the team was forced to exclusively play defense to aid the alliance. 

After the initial 28 matches, the competition progressed to playoffs. As part of this stage, the top eight teams choose two teams below them to form an alliance. After this, the alliance plays a double elimination bracket that includes a loser and winner’s bracket, and a team is eliminated if they lose two matches.

In the end, one alliance made up of three teams emerges at the top. For the Eruption, these were: Team 1923, the Midknight Inventors, from West Windsor High School and Plainsboro High School; Team 2539, the Krypton Cougars, from Palmyra Pennsylvania; and Team 219, Team Impact, from Montgomery High School.

The team’s new members enjoyed their first competition.

Freshman Anvay Ajmera, part of the mechanical team, said that he had “fun working with my team members.”

“It was exciting to see a competition in person. I didn’t expect to see such insane robot designs from student teams,” another freshman Avneet Singh, part of the CAD 3-D design subteam, said.

According to Rohn Gali, supervisor of the competition environment and training subteam, the team hopes to “optimize the design of our robot.”

This will be accomplished by the time that the competition season starts in January, allowing the team to perform well during future tournaments. 

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About the Contributor
Ayushmaan Mukherjee, Staff Writer
Ayushmaan Mukherjee is a sophomore at BRHS, who joined The Prowler at the start of the 2022-2023 school year. He mainly enjoys writing news briefs, although he has written for other sections. He was a part of the Paw Print at BRMS, where he was an editor for the news section.  He is learning how to play the piano and violin and plays tennis. In his spare time, he loves to both read and write stories. In the future, he hopes to improve his writing skills and become an editor for The Prowler, which he truly enjoys being a part of.
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