Robots in Action

Eric Parsons, Reporter


Benson robotics has been competing very well this year in the 2016-2017 Vex robotics game, Star Struck. The game is played on a 12ft by 12ft field with two alliances consisting of two teams each competing against each other. The goal of this year’s game is to get more points than the other alliance by getting as many stars and cubes over the fence to the other side. Each alliance is on one side of the fence so game objects will be getting thrown back and forth for the whole entire match.

A robotics match consist of a 15-second autonomous period where the robot move from preprogrammed commands. Then the autonomous winner is called and then the teams go into a 1 minute 45 second driver control period mode. Once the time is up the referees score the match and will declare a winner.

“I’m always really nervous during autonomous mode because I don’t know if my robot will do what it’s supposed to do,” sophomore Tanner Sasse said.

The Benson robotics program has six teams competing in competitions this year and team members include Eric Parsons and Isaac Beacom on 1045A. Ty Foster on 1045B. Kyle Gardner and Sher Law on 1045C. Harrison Sobczyk on 1045D. Tanner Sasse on 1045E. Zach Dalhgren on 1045F. Then many other Benson students take robotics as an elective class during the school day not competing in competitions.

The Benson vex robotics team has been doing outstanding this year compared to previous years bringing home many trophies for the school. On February 17-18, Omaha North high school hosted the Heartland Regional Robotics tournament. 50 teams from Nebraska and Iowa came to compete for spots at the Vex Worlds robotics tournament and four Benson teams competed in that competition.

It was a long day and a half of competition but the teams put all they could into doing the best possible. It all paid off when team 1045A ended up winning the tournament and winning the excellence award and team 1045B made it to the semifinals. Earning those awards qualified both of the teams for the Vex World’s robotics championship that will be held on April 19-22 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I liked beating the other schools in the finals and finally winning a state championship,” sophomore Isaac Beacom said.

Before those teams get to compete there, they will be competing at the preparing and competing in other tournaments. Teams 1045A, 1045B, 1045C, and 1045D will be competing in the Us Open Nationals robotics tournament against 200 teams from around the United States. This tournament takes place on April 7- 9 at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs.

It is not easy to qualify for the Nationals and Worlds tournaments the robotics students have to put a lot of time and effort into making excellent robots.  The robotics students take the class here at Benson high school during the day and then take even more time out of there days to come on down and work after school.  Then on many weekends throughout the year they go and compete against other schools and organizations.

“It’s like a job I’m just use to coming down to robotics every week after school to improve on my robot,” sophomore Zach Dalhgren said.

Mr. Troxel is the head robotics coach for the Benson robotics team and has been here teaching and coaching here for the last 4 years. He has been involved in Vex robotics for almost 7 years and cannot wait for many more vex seasons in the future.

“I enjoy seeing all of the students hard work pay off at tournaments,” robotics coach Ryan Troxel said.

Robotics is a growing sport and helpfully the Benson robotics team keeps striving to do the best they can for many years to come.