Bearbotics jumps into new season

Robotics team succeeds with a fourth place finish at regionals


Annie O'Connell

Bearbotics first builds the robot in their shop, which is then tested at competitions

The Blake robotics team, or Bearbotics, is off to a roaring start after the success of last year’s season finishing fourth in the 10,000 Lakes Regional Robotics Tournament. “We placed in the top ten [in regionals]” Kate Korslund ‘16 recounts.

Their season started on January 9th at the University of Minnesota with Kickoff, a day where teams receive the task that their robot is to perform. This year, the game is called Stronghold. In it, the robot has to breach eight defenses including shooting “little foam balls called boulders” into a goal in the “little…castle” Sarabeth Brandt ‘17 states. Brandt says that the castle has little bars on it “so all you…need to do is hook onto the bars and have your robot pull itself up.”

This year, the team will compete in two scrimmages with their robot, one held in Milwaukee WI, one at the University of Minnesota–the regional competition–and, if they do well at regions, State.

Directly after Kickoff, the team is given six weeks to build their robot, program it and work on advertising, marketing, and community outreach. After the six weeks are up, they have to “bag [the robot] up,” according to Korslund, and are only allowed to take it out at competitions.

This year, the team is evenly composed of veteran participants as well as newcomers. In total there are about 40 people who are on the team, including only “about 15 regulars” who “come every single time we practice.” The dynamic of the team is anything but boring, as Korslund says, “a lot of [team members] are really excited…and really passionate about [robotics].”

Other than being successful in competition Jeff Trinh, one of six advisors for the club, relayed that his main goal was making the team more balanced between girls and boys as it is typically a male dominated club.

If you are at all interested in robotics, please contact either Korslund, captain Jonathan Solomon ‘16, or Trinh. They meet on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s after school from 3-6 and Sunday’s from 10 AM to 4 PM.