The Rebel’s stronghold

Richard Ong, Photographer

The Owatonna High School Robotics building season will be coming to an end soon. Since Jan 9. of this year, the robotics team has been prepping for the FIRST Robotics Competition and the competition event the FIRST Stronghold. Robotics advisor, Mrs. Valorie Rose said, “This year’s challenge, FIRST Stronghold, is an intriguing and challenging game. It is always fun to see how the other teams design and build to meet the challenge. With two weeks left in the build season, the Rebel Alliance is putting in long hours needed to complete their robot before the “Bag and Tag” night on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Then it is on to Duluth!.”

The FIRST Stronghold is a castle defense game. Using the robots, the alliance created acting raiders, which attack the stronghold. Both sides will have an alliance of three separate teams that have each built separate robots that will work with one another. Each side will have a stronghold to defend and will try to attack the opponent’s stronghold. The strongholds will have multiple defenses to keep out the opponent’s robots, and there may only be one ally robot to help protect the stronghold. There is a castle tower that acts as the goal to score points, with openings on the top and the sides to score into. Robots will have the ability to shoot boulders to score points and penetrate defenses. The captain of the build team, Morgan Rappe said, “Our build season has been going well. We are working on the metal pieces and we hope to finish our robot by the end of the week.” The goal of the match is to score the highest amount of points.

In the first 15 seconds of the match, the robots are self-operated to complete challenges ahead of them, such as reaching the outer works, which are the boundaries of the defense. Secondly, the team takes control of the robots via remote controller and scores points by overcoming the opponent’s defenses, gathering boulders and then firing them. Besides the basics of shooting and gathering, there are other challenges that will give the teams a higher amount of points. When four of the five defenses has been pieced through twice, the defenses would be considered breached and the team would receive extra points. Extra points can also be earned by scoring points into the opponent’s tower. When scoring points into the tower, the lights on the side of the tower will turn off. After all the lights are off, the robots may surround the tower, which would be considered captured and gain the team extra points. In the last 20 seconds of the match, the robots may scale the tower to obtain a considerable amount of points per robot. The FIRST Stronghold will be held in Duluth, March 3-5.