Robotics Students Compete at BEST State Robotics Competition Amid COVID Constraints

Robotics Students Compete at BEST State Robotics Competition Amid COVID Constraints
Posted on 02/10/2021

The League City Intermediate RoboCats and the Westbrook Intermediate WIRED robotics teams both qualified to compete in the 2020 Texas BEST State Robotics Competition despite restrictions in place for COVID-19.

BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) is a robotics competition that emphasizes the engineering process and marketing of a robot in addition to driving the system in the game. Organizers had to revamp the game this year and offer three ways to participate: virtual only, classroom competition and multi-team (in person) competition.

“Often team members had to collaborate via TEAMS meetings,” said WIRED team sponsor Lisa Pfeifer. “Since the robot is machined from raw materials like PVC pipe, plywood, and metal pieces, that presented unique constraints and challenges this year.”

For this year’s game theme, titled “Outbreak,” students had to design, build, and present a micro-robot, manually and autonomously, that could isolate cells deemed infected to reduce or completely negate the spread of disease. The marketing presentation, virtual exhibit booth interviews, critical design review, and time trials were streamed live to the judges. RoboCats

“The RoboCats performed tremendous work to not only ensure their team success, but to ensure the health and safety of all team members,” said RoboCats team sponsor Mitchell Kennedy. “Through facemasks, sweat, and sanitizer, the team went above and beyond this season.”

The League City RoboCats won first place in the Engineering Drawings Award category, second place for the Robot Game category, and fifth place in the Texas BEST Award category. Westbrook WIRED placed 13th in the Texas BEST Award Category.

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