By Alina Issakhanian
On Saturday, November 16, Granada Hills Charter’s (GHC) Robodox team competed at the annual Rumble in the Jungle tournament. The VEX teams, 599 A, 599 B, and 599 X, competed against 32 teams of students from other schools in the Large Gym. All three groups created impressive designs and codes that helped them progress far into the competition.
The three teams advanced to semifinals during the alliance competition, in which 599A and 599X were allies with one another while team 599B allied with Chaminade High School’s team 1138.
“It’s always super exciting to have a competition at our school. We usually get around 40 teams coming to school. People always comment on how well organized the competition is, even the minor details. We attend other competitions and try to fix the things we find problematic for our own competition,” junior Robodox co-president Saksham Sharma said.
From setting up the field to building the robots, the Robodox team has been preparing for this tournament for months now.
“There are a lot of challenges when building the robot, you start off with a base and perfect it over time. It’s fairly hard because you aren’t given instructions and you learn over time. You have to go off of what you think is right and continue from there,” junior co-captain of 559X Nishat Imteaz said.
The tournament begins with a qualification round where teams show off their robots by running through multiple actions. The teams are then ranked from first to eighteenth place and those rankings greatly influence the next step of the competition: alliance picking. This is when one team chooses another team to partner up with for the alliance competition.
“You never know who is going to choose who or even if your team is going to get chosen,” Sharma said.
The higher the team is on the ranking, the higher the chance is of getting chosen. The team in first place takes their pick and the rest of the teams move up one spot in the ranking until all teams are chosen. Team captains and members all have their eyes on what is happening, always discussing who they will choose and what to do when their first choice is chosen.
The alliance competition consists of rounds where two allied teams are put against another set of allied teams. During each round, their robots move around in a box-shaped arena, picking up cubes and placing them in their respective corners. The first round grants a team an autonomous advantage, where one team’s robot can run through and collect as many points as possible without driver input for a period of 30 seconds. During the round, the two teams compete to see which can stack more boxes than the other.
“Our robot had a holonomic drive with a cascade lift and a claw render. Throughout the game, it was very consistent in picking up cubes and could also double stack the cubes, which most other robots can’t do. It was able to carry eight cubes at a time and place 20-24 cubes,” Imteaz said.
This competition could not have been possible without the help of the Robodox event executives, Gabriella Rivas and Nick Zhao, who set up the event. Rumble in the Jungle is one of many competitions GHC’s VEX teams will participate in this year. Coming up for the teams are regionals, VEX states, and the international FIRST Robotics Competition next semester.