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Robotic teams wind down after contests

Binary Kaos return from the World Finals VEX Robotics Tournament. Pictured left to right: Caelen Anderson, Stephen Ganders, Matthew Miller, Jared Leibowitz.

Lu Seapy photo
Binary Kaos return from the World Finals VEX Robotics Tournament. Pictured left to right: Caelen Anderson, Stephen Ganders, Matthew Miller, Jared Leibowitz.


Robotics students from The Dalles captured the first place trophy at the recent Oregon State MATE ROV Underwater Robotics Competition, Intermediate Division. Pictured left to right: (Front Row) Ian Castaneda, Kyla Grillone, Jack McAllister, Ian Field, Brayden Parker. Middle row: Martin Hernandez, Katelyn Squires, Connor Sam, Colin Schecter, Haley James, Kali Sadoz, coach Lori Sam and donor Mitch Riefel. Reese Sagapolutele, Angel Garcia, Chase Sam, Shane Squires, Marquies Sagapolutele, Stephen Ganders, Jacob Ganders, Caleb Parsons.

Robotics students from The Dalles have had success in national and international competition, with the middle school team bringing home a first-place trophy from a competition in Lincoln City last weekend. The high school team, Binary Kaos, made an appearance at the VEX Robotics World Championships in Louisville, Ken.

“It was an incredible, life changing learning experience for the students who attended,” said robotics coach Ajay Rundell.

The week-long competition drew 30,000 people and 1,600 teams from 30 countries. Stephen Ganders, a junior at The Dalles High School and Binary Kaos’ engineer/driver, said: “It was a great opportunity to meet new people who share our passion for robotics. We had a chance to collaborate and work with people from all over the world and share our ideas.”

Last weekend, the Wasco County 4-H Robotics Team based out of The Dalles Middle School, the ROV Sharks, won first place in the Oregon State MATE ROV Underwater Robotics Competition’s intermediate-level “Navigator” category.

They were one of 39 Oregon teams that participated in the April 28 competition at the Lincoln City Community Center.

The annual competition was coordinated by Oregon Sea Grant and sponsored by the Oregon Coast STEM Hub with the goal of preparing students elementary school through college for technical careers.

The Lincoln City competition was one of 31 regional contests held that were supported by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center in California. This was the competition’s seventh year, and over 200 students demonstrated their skills in engineering and problem-solving with creative robots to fit the year’s theme and challenge.

This year, teams were tasked with building a role Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that could retrieve the hypothetical wreckage of a downed airplane, deploy hypothetical equipment to monitor earthquakes, and install simulated renewable energy devices. Students also had to create plans to make, market and sell their devices, form mock companies and give presentations.

“I am extremely pleased with the performance of all the teams from The Dalles. Our winning team spent many evenings and weekends building and troubleshooting their robot and their work paid off,” said Wasco 4-H coach Lu Seapy.

“The team would like to thank its sponsors Google, Jacobs Engineering, The Fitness Center at Water’s Edge, OSU Extension, and the Oregon STEM Beyond Schools program,” Seapy said in a written statement.


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