Source: Sherman Publications

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RoboCats finish 7th at world championships

by Andrew Moser

May 11, 2011

The Oxford High School Robocats showcased their talents for all the world to see as they finished as one of the top teams in the world at the World Championships, held in St. Louis April 27-30.

The Robocats would lose in the quarterfinals to the alliance of SD30 Robotics from Ronan, Montana, Wreckers from Westport, Connecticut, and MITibot from Lexington, Kentucky. The alliance would eventually go on to win the world championship.

Oxford would finish 7th out of 88 robots in the Galileo division with teams from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Oxford finished with an 8-2 division record and moved on to the knockout stages.

"Our performance against the team that won (the world championship) was very close to who they played in the finals in terms of actual points they scored," said team mentor Ron Bauman.

A total of 352 teams from 16 countries were at the world championships.

Bauman noted the Robocats ranked third in the State of Michigan heading into the World Championships.

"It's definitely our intention to build on that and get additional students to come into the program and build a bigger team and more sustainable," Bauman said. "Right now we have 17 students and a lot of teams have 30-50 students on the team."

"So our intention is to build the team to a more sustainable level where instead of focusing so much on the robot, we can actually focus on a lot of other activities the program offers, which is community outreach, building a better website, going to additional activities and improve our fund-raiser," he added.

Bauman said it can range anywhere between four and five thousand dollars in order to attend some of the competitions. He said it was $4,000 to go to FIRST district and states, while it cost $5,000 to attend the world championships.

"It also costs about $4,000 to build the robot, much less all the other costs," he added.

The Robocats look to build on this experience heading into next season.

"Each year we get a little bit better. We build on the previous design and refine it," Bauman said. "We sort of designed a similar drive train, but we improved it to be a little bit better and more robust."

The Robocats would like to thank the community and sponsors for all of their continued support throughout the year.