Robotics teams shine at world championships

By John Pilvines/Special to the Advocate,  GateHouse Media,  Fri Apr 27, 2007, 12:01 AM EDT

Sharon - Sharon was represented by two amazing robotics teams at the FIRST World Championship held April 12-13 in Atlanta. Members of the Sharon Myotonics and Team Unlimited have been involved in the FIRST Vex Challenge (FVC) since its inception in 2005, and represented in every World Championship.

Once again, the young men and women of the Sharon Youth Robotics Association have shown themselves to be a credit to the town, ranking with some of the most accomplished teams in the world. The competition is a motivator for them.

To compete in the world championships, Sharon teams first had to win at regional tournaments that took place in Massachusetts and Connecticut in December. The Massachusetts FVC Championship was won by the alliance of Team Unlimited and roboNatick (MA). Team Unlimited also received the coveted Inspire award in recognition of their all-around exemplification of the principles of FIRST. The Sharon Angelbots were semi-finalists in this competition, and their development processí excellence was recognized by the Think award.

The Connecticut FVC Championship was won by an alliance of the Sharon Myotonics, Checkmate (N.H.) and Rising Tide (Conn.). Team Unlimited, along with Team Impulse (Conn.) and Rosieís lil Sister (Mass.) were the second place alliance. Team Unlimited was also recognized for creative design with the Innovate award.

At the FIRST World Championships in Atlanta, the FVC championships were contested by 96 of the best international teams, from as far away as China. Both the Myotonics and Team Unlimited were undefeated through the qualifying rounds, with the Myotonics ranked in first place among all 96 teams. For the elimination finals, the Myotonics formed an alliance with Team Unlimited and ConTRAPPtion (Mo.). Unfortunately, this alliance was knocked out in the quarter-finals due in part to equipment failures, with the Sharon teams finished tied for fifth place overall.

Team Unlimited was announced as one of three finalists for the World Championship Inspire award, given to the team that ranks highly in every award category, is recognized and nominated by their peers, and best exemplifies the ideals of FIRST. The Sharon teams are proud of their remarkable achievements, and are anxious to meet next yearís challenge.

The members of the Sharon Angelbots are sophomores Kimberly Cho, Joshua Czik, Julia Gawle, Nawal Hourani, Rebecca Levenson and Michelle Parziale. The Sharon Myotonics include sophomores Madeleine Adelson, Chloe Cheung and Michelle So, as well as graduating seniors Michael Adelson, Jeffrey Frishman, Steven Lu and Justin Watanasiri. Team Unlimited consists of sophomores Alex Falcon, Nick Kondratiev, Benjamin Mende, Patrick Pilvines and Omer Zaidi.

Itís not (just) about the robots. FIRST is an acronym - For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology - with the robotics competitions supporting this goal. The FIRST robotics season will start up again in the fall of 2007. Watch the www.syraweb.org Web site for the opportunity to become a part of a world-class robotics program.



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