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Congratulations are in order for NYIT's IEEE robotics team, who recently travelled to Anaheim, California for the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship, and placed 11th out of 62 college teams worldwide. NYIT also placed 6th out of the 22 teams who competed in the Skills Challenges portion of the competition. The championship was held April 24 – 27, and brought more than 15,000 participants from 23 countries to the Anaheim Convention Center to compete at the elementary, high school, and college levels. This year ’ team from NYIT consisted of 9 students from across disciplines, who collaborated to build this year ’ impressive and well-performing robot. Team members were Richard Mortimore, Matthew Wighton, Jesus Moo, Marissa Viggiano, Chinam Tomeda, Vito Cataccio, Kayla Ho, Nick Passaro, and Nurbolat Tulgenov. Saverio Marsicano, Senior Technician for the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences at Old Westbury, serves as the team's coach.
The teams of programmers, engineers and strategists that compete in the VEX Robotics Competition must design and pilot a robot to outperform those of other teams on the playing field. In addition to technical skills and expertise in the games, the teams must exhibit an ability to communicate, collaborate, and work together under stressful conditions.
The central challenge of the games takes place on a 12' by 12' square field, which is populated by two different sizes of balls that can be thrown by the competing robots into opposing goal zones. The goal of each team that participates in the challenge is simple: to score more points than their competitor. In order to surmount the courses obstacles and defeat their opponent, the robots and their pilots must demonstrate dexterity, accuracy, speed, and power. NYIT’s robot was an especially exciting machine to watch, as it crushed all of its opponents in the opening rounds, even soaring to 1st place by the end of the 2nd day. The NYIT team finished with an exceptional 8-2 win ratio.
The competition was about more than winning to NYIT's team of engineers and strategists, who bonded over the experience and forged lasting friendships in preparation for the competition. Team member Kayla Ho said of her experience, “I always loved the idea of working with robots because they are the bridge between creativity and reality, and this team helped make that dream come true. Like all teams, we have had our ups and downs, but with teamwork, tenacity, and fun times all around, we rose above our challenges. ”This sense of pride, comradeship, and sportsmanship was shared by many team members. Chinam Tomeda, who will graduate NYIT this May, was especially glad to be on the IEEE robotics team. He said “I am glad I was able to close out my NYIT education with this experience—it will stand out as one of my favorite memories of my college life.”