“We were up against some big schools and so we (really) were the smallest school in the competition...it’s like a ‘Cinderella story.’ ”
The SDSU Robotics Club won the Land O’Lakes “Bot Shot” National Robotics Competition on Sunday, April 7, in Minneapolis. It took the group about two months to create their basketball shooting robot named “Ball-E.”
If you thought that was impressive, this is only the second competition the group has competed in and the biggest. These factors and having this time crunch motivated the team to enter.
“It’s a great way to have a goal for the club. For something to work on with (you know) with actually having deadlines and targets to meet,” says President of the Robotics Club Joel Quanbeck.
Once the robot was created, the team submitted a video to show what the robot can do in order to qualify for the “Final Four” and play the game “H.O.R.S.E.” The four teams had one hour to play the game, who ever had the fewest letters won. Out of 7 teams invited to the competition, both SDSU and the University of Wisconsin were declared winners after a thrilling overtime that ended in a tie to take home the win.
Quanbeck states, “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve created. All the long nights and the hard work...it’s just all amazing to see it all come to fruition and make a really cool robot in the end.”
This national win is a big step for the club going forward and mixing competition with science makes the perfect physics theory.
“Just getting to combine a passion for sports and a passion for robotics and shoot something like this and compete against other schools with it... I mean, it was cool. This is a one of a kind opportunity and I loved it,” says Vice President of the Robotics Club Joel Kocer.
The group won a $10,000 grant. They say they will use this money for future projects and competitions.
Watch the video of Ball-E in action.