Robotics Club hosts FIRST FTC meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

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Robotics Club hosts FIRST FTC meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Team 2866 driver Erin McMahon practices her driving before the meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Team 2866 driver Erin McMahon practices her driving before the meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Team 2866 driver Erin McMahon practices her driving before the meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Team 2866 driver Erin McMahon practices her driving before the meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.

Jasir Gillum, Color Commentator

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The Pattonville Robotics club is hosting a FIRST FTC meet in the high school cafeteria on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 10 a.m.

Robotics sponsor Ms. Sue Mathis is excited to be hosting this event for the third year.

“Our teams have been working very hard,” Mathis said. “There will be 12 teams and I’m very happy and excited for this competition.”

Team 2866 driver Erin McMahon (11) said there are a lot of objectives to the game this year and that it is very interesting.

“We need to score silver and gold minerals that are actually just Wiffle balls and 2-inch-by-2-inch cubes into a Rover lander,” she said. “We also need to get our robot to hang on the Rover lander.”

Pattonville has three robotics teams and two have already qualified for the state championship. Besides the objectives of the game on Saturday, McMahon said team members will be working together to qualify the third team.

“We are super confident at the moment because two teams have already qualified for state and the other team is very close to qualifying,” she said. “Our main objective will be to help our other team win as many matches as possible. Of course we are playing to win games, but we are playing for our other team as well.”

When a match starts, the robots drop from the lander and are in autonomous mode for 30 seconds.

“The game is structured for the robot to drive by itself in a pre-determined plan,” McMahon said. “It tends to be where the bulk of points come from.

Students have programmed their robots to essentially move as many silver and gold minerals out of the way.

After that, the robots turn to teleOP mode for 90 seconds.

“The robots then turn to be driver-controlled and each team has two drivers,” McMahon said. “That’s when the drivers try to score the minerals in the lander and that goes for a minute-and-a-half.”

To finish the game, drivers have 30 seconds to either park their robot in a crater on the playing field or hang it from the Rover lander to earn additional points.

“It’s a very complex game but after watching it a few times, you get the hang of how it works.”

The spirit of the game is in honor of the 50th anniversary of man first walking on the moon.

Mathis, who is retiring from teaching at the end of this year, said she can remember that happening.

“I guess that’s why I’m ready to retire.”

The event is free to attend and the concession stand will be open.

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Robotics Club hosts FIRST FTC meet on Saturday, Jan. 26.