Domo arigato

Styx song anyone?

This post isn't really about Mr. Roboto.

It's about Matt. And robots. When Matt was little and when he talked all the time, I thought he was going to be interested in theater. He liked hamming it up on the stage--one time he sang "Bob the Builder" for a church talent show when he was three or four. Another year, he told jokes. He seemed to like the limelight.

But now that he's a teenager, his interests have taken a very different turn. He came home from school one afternoon and said, almost as an aside, "Oh by the way, my friends want me to try out for the robotics team." and then he wandered off to help himself to a post-educational snack. He had never shown an interest in anything mechanical or computerical (other than using a computer to play games). Let me amend that: he did like drawing thousands of miniscule robots on pieces of paper when he was little. He could fill up every inch on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper with tiny little robots of various shapes and sizes and varying styles of appendages. But drawing them and building them are two different hobbies in my mind. I just thought robots were something he would draw, not actually take part in building.

Anyway, he tried out and made the team.

And this spring, he was part of the KING TeC team that won the Chairman award at the Regional tournament, which meant they were invited to the World Robotics competition in St Louis.

KING TeC is a very respected robotics program, despite the fact that they wear capes and crowns (King, get it?).

Matt had a good time in St Louis with the team. His main task at the competition was to scout out other robots, see what they were good at, what their weaknesses were, etc. I was able to watch a couple of their matches on a live stream on the internet. Their robot didn't win and it had some trouble in some of the matches, but I'm still amazed that these kids built an actual robot that actually functioned--the robot had to be able to toss large balls into a target zone, pass balls from one robot to another, and toss them over a truss. They also had to block other robots and defend their zone.

It's not an activity I would have suggested for him, but then he isn't me. I'm glad that he has found something he likes to participate in. I look forward to watching him on the Robotics team next year and the two years after that!

I don't want to write novels about Matt's time in St Louis but I would like to share a couple of pictures that were sent to us of the team: (click on the pictures to enlarge)
the official team portrait. I'm glad Matt is a smallish guy so that he gets put in the front and I can spot him easily.

The team just before heading off to "Roboprom." You can't really tell but Matt dressed up. He went to Roboprom as "The Second Doctor." Two of his friends (on the very right side) went as the Fifth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor. Matt said people wanted to take pictures of them. Also, I asked Matt if they did the Robodance at Roboprom and he said No. I said that it wasn't a real Roboprom if you don't do the Robodance. Big time Fail.


Jenni said…
Is that whole team from your school? That is amazing!! We don't even got no Roboteam. (that could be Robo-team or Robot-team) What a great opportunity for him!!
Jenni said…
And not doing the "robot" at any dance is a crime. Not doing the "robot" at Roboprom is mind-bottling.
Jen said…
Sara you well be punished for your crimes of not correctly naming the two approved dances, the Robot and the Robo.

I had no idea Matt's tan made it all the way nationals. Congrats, Matt! I love the king friends and capes for their team uniforms. It's there any video off the robots Matt and his team made throughout the season?
Jen said…
Dang autocorrect...tan s/b team and friends s/b crowns.