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Nutrons place fourth at Robotics World Championship

Contributed by Yaneev Hacohen
Some of the high school's participants of the Nutrons pose with their robot. Every year, there is a different challenge for teams to build. This year, the challenge was to build a robot that can lift whiffle balls off of the ground, shoot them at high speeds and drop gears using pegs.

Jan Bloch, Staff Writer

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Robots: an engineering endeavour that takes a hard working, dedicated and a motivated group of people. The Nutrons team are just that.

Students at the high school join forces with Revere High School and the Boston Latin School to create the Nutrons, a competitive Robotics team. The team consists of a talented group of high school students that create robots based on the challenge presented, enter them into competitions and hope to advance to the next round. On April 26 the team went to Saint Louis, MO, to compete in the Robotics World Championship where they placed fourth.

Every year, the team is put up against a new challenge. This year, the challenge is called Steamworks, which is building a robot that can lift whiffle balls off the ground, shoot them at high speeds and drop gears using pegs.

Junior Lydia Xing is a member of the Nutrons and described how hard the team works during their season. 

There’s not a lot of sleeping on the team during build season,” Xing said, “You pull 30-40 workweeks at robotics.”

Once the robot is done, they take it to competitions across the country and put their robot up against the robots that other teams have built. All robots follow the guidelines and are faced with the same challenge.

There are two parts to the game,” Xing said. “There’s the Autonomous Round, which means no human controls, and the second round, where someone has a game controller and they get to control the robot.”

They work hard in order to keep their team, along with their robot, from being eliminated. Senior Yaneev Hacohen, who’s a part of the team, explains that competitions is where they are able to receive points, advancing them to the next competition, prolonging their season.

“The way competing works is that we build the robot for six weeks,” Hacohen said. “Then, there’s district competitions in New England for a few weeks, after that, there’s district championship competition and then at the very end of the season, there’s the world championship competition.”

Getting to the World Championship is a challenge in of itself. Teams need to earn a certain amount of points in the District Championship competition.

“You get points for doing well in competitions but you also get points that the judges judge you on. For example, how well your robot is engineered or unique programming or code on your robot. ” Hacohen said. “There’s a certain amount of points you have to exceed to get into the next level of competition.”

The process of getting to the World Championship consists of long, hard hours of work in the Northeastern University basement. Junior Asher Gottlieb finds that with help from Northeastern students themselves, the team is able to learn from more experienced people with similar passions.

“The mentors are at Northeastern University, they’re students there, who are very interested in similar stuff,” Gottlieb said. “They have more experience in the mechanical sciences and robotics, it’s very much a craft, and so they can help really effectively.”

On April 24th in Saint Louis, MO, the Nutrons were set to the task, they flew out to compete in the World Championship. The World Championship consists of many talented teams from across the globe who have been working eagerly for this opportunity to shine, but the Nutrons outshined most by placing fourth.

By being a part of the Nutrons team, these students learn more than just mechanical sciences and robotics. It teaches them how to dedicate themselves to something and work hard for it. Gottlieb plans on using many of the knowledge and skills he’s attaining through this club in his future life.

“I want to do something related to software development when I’m older,” Gottlieb said. “The mentors you meet there are enthusiastic about the same things and can lead you in the right direction.”

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Nutrons place fourth at Robotics World Championship