Robotics battles to the technological top


Brendan Massoud , Staff Writer

Four teams from different schools, districts and states, each controlling one robot they built from scratch, surround a playing field with 160 balls. The intensity in the air is palpable as each side looks to prove their worth by using their robot to complete a number of tasks within the arena. This is where the Wreckers Robotics team is at their finest.

Together, the team creates robots that compete in meets around Connecticut, New England and the United States. Their ultimate goal is advancing past other robotics teams, ultimately reaching the international competition in St. Louis, Missouri, in April.

The team itself is made up of extraordinary Staples students, all of whom share a common interest in subjects such as math, science and engineering.

For Ben Rosoff ’17, a member of the club for just over a year, the Wreckers Robotics team is an outlet for a life-long love of building and creating structures. “I have always enjoyed building, from Legos and K’Nex to woodworking and making robots,” Rosoff said.

Others, including senior captain Madeline Schemel ’15, joined because she thought robotics sounded interesting. “I joined Wrecker Robotics at the beginning of last year mainly because I thought building robots sounded cool,” Schemel said.

The team thinks of and builds an original robot prior to competition after receiving the objective from The First Tech Challenge, the organization under which Wreckers Robotics competes.

Sage Vouse ’15, who has been a member for about a year, was astounded by her enjoyment of robotics. “I’m really surprised about how robotics is something you can get into without a lot of prior experience,” Vouse said.

When asked about the most interesting device she’d ever built, Vouse stated, “I’d have to go with the conveyor belt I made last year, which fit on the robot and collected blocks.”

Last year, the team traveled to the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis for the international championship, and placed 32nd. Dylan Gleicher ’17, a member of last year’s exceptional squad, described the event as quite profound, with “people from around the world all with their robots in one big room.”

Many team members are quite hopeful and enthusiastic about the season ahead. Gleicher put it quite simply, saying, “We’re going all the way.”