Galway Robotics is back!


Sara Conti, Sr. High Staff Writer and Head Editor

After missing two seasons due to the pandemic and the loss of our advisor, Galway Robotics made its return to the Adirondack Vex Robotics Qualifiers on Saturday, February 11th. This year’s challenge focused on either launching a disk into a Frisbee golf goal, or placing it in a low goal underneath. An alliance is made of two teams who have 60 seconds to score as many points as possible. To score more points, teams could claim rollers for their alliance by spinning them to match the alliance color, and an expansion bonus was available at the end, giving teams points for every tile they touched at the end of the match. This year, Galway competed against Lake George, a world class team, Averill Park, who brought 6 teams, and many other schools in the area.

Team 18310A, the seniors, competed with a new design, with a conveyor belt lifting the disks up to a flywheel. The wheel did not spin quite fast enough to launch the disks, but it was able to lift the disks and drop them, allowing us to score in the low goal. Although the robot worked as it was designed, it simply wasn’t fast enough to compete against the Lake George warriors,  so a different strategy had to be used. Driver Stephanie Martin started driving aggressively, pushing the opponents out of the way right as they tried to shoot. She prevented all but one launch during her first match with this strategy. From there, that became the go to technique. Maybe we couldn’t score the most points, but we could get in the way and make sure that the other team couldn’t score points either. This won us our first match on a day full of losses.

Team 18310B, the juniors, focused on the rollers. Their design was simple, it consisted of just a wheel mounted on the front of their robot, but very effective. As each roller is worth 15 points, compared to 1 point per disk in the low goal and 5 for the high goal, it has a much higher point potential. Between that and their defensive driving, they had many great matches. In the skills challenge (a version of the game played with just one robot working to score as many points as possible in 60 seconds) driver Aidan Reekie-Mel scored enough points to qualify to move on to Regional Championship, although due to low funds they will not be able to attend.

After 5 matches of pool play each, teams were selected for the elimination rounds. The Galway teams joined together, facing the Lake George Warriors and The Fire Breathing Bears. The final score for this round was 173-12. Although the day might not have consisted of many wins, just being there was an achievement after so many years without competing.


Visit the Galway Robotics Website to learn more, or find out how to join the team: