Weber RamBots go to FIRST Tech Challenge Georgia state championship


The Weber RamBots (from left to right): Advisor Chris Chapman and students Micah Reich, Bobbi Sloan, Micah Bronfman, Ben Ragals, Eli Medof, Amir Dressler, Caleb Heller and Jacob Moradi. (Ben Ragals/The RamPage)

Ben Ragals

The Weber RamBots, Weber’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robotics team, competed in the FTC state championship on February 22 and 23 and tied for 15th place. Weber has had a robotics team in previous years, but the RamBots had to start the team from scratch due to certain FIRST regulations. The current team, founded by sophomore Micah Reich, fought fiercely in order to obtain a spot to the FTC world championship after a win at FTC regionals. Only five teams from each region go to the state competition, and five from each state go to the world championship. While the RamBots did not receive a spot, the team said that they had a great time at the competition.

The RamBots’ driver team as they prepare to compete. In this match, their allies forget to turn on their robot after one of their subsystems broke. (Ben Ragals/The RamPage)

In the championship, teams are allied with one other team per match and must work together to score as many points as possible. Greg, the RamBots’ robot, performed exceptionally well and scored many points during the competition. However, in five out of the six matches, the RamBots’ allies either didn’t work, broke or in one case was not even powered on. The Rambots also received a penalty for controlling too many points at one time. Members of the RamBots still argue if the penalty was deserved. If the penalty was not given, the team would have placed higher in the championship. However, FIRST judges do not accept video evidence or replays, so the penalty remained.

Greg, The RamBots’ robot. (Ben Ragals/The RamPage)

Reich, who is also Greg’s programmer and driver, had this to say about the competition: “The FIRST Tech Challenge state championship was very fun, and it definitely allowed us to learn a lot from both our mistakes and from other seasoned teams. Placing 15th among 158 teams in Georgia was a sizable accomplishment, and we are very proud of ourselves. Looking back on the season, we could have better utilized 3D design and CAD resources to plan ahead in the robot design process. Our robot, Greg, performed well, with a fully functional autonomous program and a robust driver controlled program.”

The RamBots are already planning for next year’s competition.