On October 14 and 15, 2017, the Penguin Empire, San Marin’s robotics team, placed second in the Cal Games robotics tournament in San Jose. This year’s game theme was Steampunk, and the objective was to have the robots collect gears and wiffle balls, which represented fuel, to score points.
“The competition this year was very high energy, and there were people everywhere wearing Steampunk costumes and goggles. It was really fun,” said Mike Sousa, the robotics team’s mentor.
The robot that competed this year contained cameras on the back left and right corners, as well as on the the center top of the robot, so the drivers could see what it sees. It also had motion sensors on its front right and left to allow it to operate on its own for 15 seconds when the competition first began. In the last 30 seconds of each game, the robot could climb up a rope to score extra points.
This year’s competition was the first time since 2008 that the San Marin robotics team scored second place in a competition.