Virginia Western Community College hosted its 10th annual VWCC Autonomous Robotics Competition on Saturday with a record 58 teams and 188 participants from middle school to corporate competing for the top prize.

Team Xerxes, comprised of two community college students and a high school student from James River High School was named grand champion.  Among middle and high school teams, Lord Botetourt High School, Red Hot Oompa Loompas and Special K teams took home second and third place, respectively.   Team Quasar, comprised of Virginia Western engineering students, was first among the college and corporation divisions. Daedalus and Apollo’s reach rounded out the top three for the engineering students.

“This was a very difficult robotics problem to solve and yet the level of performance was outstanding,” said George Studtmann, a Virginia Western engineering instructor who organized the competition.  “It’s exciting to see how well the middle and high school teams performed. It bodes well for continuing growth and excitement in mechatronics and STEM in the Roanoke Valley.”

The theme of this year’s competition was “Columbots.” Teams were tasked with designing and building autonomous robots to follow Christopher Columbus’ path from Spain to various Caribbean islands, dropping off goods (barrels) and picking up other goods to return to Spain.

In addition to building the robots for competition, teams could compete in the categories of technical report and a poster board session. The competition was designed to give students a better understanding of the engineering design process while putting into practice some fundamentals of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The competition is sponsored in part by TMEIC, a local Roanoke County engineering firm that employs hundreds of engineers with backgrounds in mechatronics and robotics.

 

COMPETITION STATISTICS

Robot Teams Registered: 58

Middle School: 6

High School: 36

College: 15

Corporate: 1

FINAL RESULTS (Scores)

Middle School (Out of 390)

Cave Spring Middle School, The Irrational Magic Pirates: 159

(Christian Wheeling, Aiden McLaughlin, Fletcher Burden, Oriel Soltysik, Tyler Cundiff)

Cave Spring Middle School, Brotherhood of Steel: 138

(Payton Harman, Marshall Glas, Scott Rose, Riley Trotter)

Cave Spring Middle School, SRD: 129

(Suraj Lalchandani, Damian Bodner, Ricky Singh)

Girl Scouts, Genius: 117

(Madison Williams, Brynn Baker, Alba Pratt, Claudia Brooks)

Cave Spring Middle School, The Outlanders: 65

(Roshan Patel, Jason Bowles, Sarah Ballou, Natalie Gregory)

High School (Out of 390)

VWCC, Staunton River Xerxes: 240

(Nick Peak, Makayla Saville, Rocky Stanley)

Botetourt STEM-H Academy, Red Hot Oompa Loompas: 224

(Kyle Upson, Aaron Workowski, Emma Hall, Jenna Alam)

Botetourt STEM-H Academy, Special K: 204

(Aaron Burns, Zachary Andrews)

College and Corporation (Out of 520)

VWCC, Team Quasar: 299

(Sarah Ellis, Nicholas Bauer, Casey Stengel)

VWCC, Daedalus: 255

(Andrew Parker, Nathan Rose, Kim Tran)

VWCC,  Apollo’s Reach: 250

(Nic Silvery, Allen Britt, Trevor Laffoon)

Grand Champion (Comparing Percentage of Total Possible Points)

Xerxes (61.5%)