VERTEX robotics returns from worlds

Award-winning rookie team takes Detroit competition in stride and readies for next year.

Nicole Pellaton
May 6, 2019
VERTEX team at worlds competition in Detroit.

VERTEX team competing at worlds in Detroit.

“Smaller, lighter and faster,” says Vincent Xiao ’22 with a smile as he imagines next year’s robot. Just back from the FIRST Championship, where VERTEX landed 43rd in their division, Xiao, the team’s mechanical captain, and David Song ‘21, the team’s CAD lead, summarize the experience of competing alongside 1,300 robots from around the globe as “amazing.”

VERTEX returned from Detroit on April 28 with renewed enthusiasm and razor-sharp focus. They’re already convening in the Design Lab to dissect what worked and what didn’t with robot 15534, discuss improvements, and create budgets.

They had their fair share of surprises in Detroit, each a learning experience. “First, we couldn’t find the robot,” explains Song. Turns out 15534, which had been shipped separately, was delivered to the hotel under the wrong name. Once unpacked, the robot didn’t work — several parts had broken during transport. The Exonians recreated the parts on the spot, using a 3D printer loaned by a competitor. And although the definition of the course was the same in Detroit and at states, VERTEX discovered that greater precision had been applied to the setup at worlds, which made for different, and therefore unpracticed, angles of attack on the pitch.

No worries about 15534, though. VERTEX plans to keep this year’s robot intact as a memento and use it for demos at local groups and schools.


More to Explore

Meet the Team

Learn more about the team, the robot and the VERTEX outreach programs at the competition website. 

Go to the page titled Meet the Team

VERTEX wins Inspire award

Read The Exonian article about this prestigious award given to the team that is an ambassador for FIRST program values. 

Go to the page titled VERTEX wins Inspire award