Bend-based Robotics Team Wins at Regional Tournament

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Local robotics team High Desert Droids and their alliance partners (Error Code Xero of Wilsonville and Skunkworks of Des Moines, Washington) were the Regional Winners at the Central Washington FIRST Robotics Tournament held March 21-23 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. Fifty teams – 46 from Washington and four from Oregon – participated in the event.

The High Desert Droids’ robot, “T=mr^2a” (pronounced, “Tamra”), was designed, built and programmed over the course of six weeks this winter to compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition game, Ultimate Ascent. The robot is capable of firing flying discs at goals, maneuvering around a complicated playing field and climbing to the first level of a structure to score points during each tournament match.

After a challenging series of qualifying matches on Friday and Saturday, the High Desert Droids were selected to join the fourth seed alliance led by Error Code Xero of  Wilsonville, Oregon. In the quarterfinals they defeated the fifth seed alliance and progressed to the semifinals, during which they “upset” the first seed alliance and won two matches to move on to the finals. During the semifinals the alliance posted the highest score of the tournament, earning 202 points in one match.

The alliance went on to win two out of the three finals matches against the second seed alliance (comprised of two teams from Tacoma, Washington and one team from Spokane, Washington), earning all three teams the “Regional Winner” award for the event.

Who Are We? Seven-Fifty-Three!

FIRST Team 753 (High Desert Droids) is a student–driven team of bright individuals drawn together by a passion for working as a team, building robots and fostering excitement in science and technology through FIRST. Formed in 2002, the team is based out of Mountain View High School and is comprised of students from all three Bend high schools and several home schooled students.

Sponsors of the team include Bend Research, Les Schwab Tire Centers, G5 Search Marketing, Microsemi, Manzama, Bend Plating, SimB & Company, PCC Schlosser and Advanced Energy.

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