News, sports and entertainment for Richland Parish, La.

DCS robotics team eyes world title

Delhi Charter School robotics team is competing in the world championships this week.

DCS added a robotics club to its extra-curricular programs in 2011. The club was founded and sponsored by Eric Vidrine. From 2011 to 2013, the robotics club introduced students to computer science and computer programing techniques in order for the club members to develop their skills using Lego Mindstorm Robots.

Starting in 2013, the robotics club began competing with the Mindstorm Robots. In 2013 the students began to see the fruits of their labors when the teams won the BEST Award and Founders Award for their region.

In 2014, the club continued to achieve excellence by winning the BEST award and the Most Robust Robot award for 2014. In 2015 and 2016 the team transitioned to utilizing the RARC Robots.

During this time the club won awards for first place in each circuit event as well as Circuit Champions in 2016. In 2015 and 2016 the robotics club competed in Vex competitions and the club has won multiple awards including one build award, one skills award, two design awards, one excellence award and eight tournament champion awards, and even qualified to compete at the 2016 Vex World Championship.

Throughout the 2016 school year, Delhi Charter School had 10 dedicated students who elected to participate in the schools robotics club. The 10 students split up into three teams and each team built its own Vex Robot in order to compete in regional Vex Tournaments.

During club meetings and build time, the students were exposed to computer science, computer programing, problem solving techniques and creative thinking. Each team ran into multiple problems while creating their team robots and had to come up with creative solutions for their problems. Eventually all three teams overcame the issues that arose during their build time. The teams then tested their robotics programing and skills at regional tournaments throughout Louisiana and Mississippi.

During the 2016 regional tournaments, each of the three DCS robotics teams won at least one tournament championship -- qualifying each of the three teams for the Louisiana State Vex Championship Competition.

On March 4, robotics clubs throughout the state converged on Holy Cross High School in New Orleans to see who had built, programed, tested and drove the best Vex Robot in the state. The Delhi Charter Robotics Club ensured that their three robotics teams made the trip and competed for the state title.

The top two teams in the state would qualify for the 2017 World Vex Championship in Louisville, Ken. In addition to the top two teams, Louisiana would also send its top skills challenge robot to take on the best of the best that the world had to offer.
After a long day of competing, the Delhi Charter School Robotics club found all three of their robots in the top six robots in Louisiana. After the final alliance draws were complete, DCS teams 8892B and 8892C found themselves in the #2 alliance position while 8892A followed close behind in alliance position #3. Throughout the final matches, each team gave it’s all to ensure themselves a position to compete in the championship. After several grueling matches, the second rank alliance robots pushed through to compete for the Louisiana State Championship title. While the final match was as close as it could be, the two DCS robots on alliance #2 fell short and finished second in the state championship.

As the awards were presented at the end of the day, it was clear that the tournament champions would be moving on to the Vex World Competition in Louisville in April. The only question left was who had earned the Top Skills Robot position for the state.
After a long 48 hours, DCS robotics sponsor Eric Vidrine was notified that Delhi Charter Robotics had qualified for the 2017 Vex World Championship with its 8892B Robot. So on April 19, the Delhi Charter School Robotics Club is representing Louisiana as it makes its second run at beating the best of the best at the 2017 Vex World Championship.

The Richland Beacon-News

603 Louisa Street
Rayville, LA 71269
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