Magma defrosts Duluth

Angelina Blen, Special to the Kalani Leo

The Kalani robotics team, Team Magma, goes to two regional competitions every year, one on-island and one out-of-state. This year, the team will be traveling to Duluth, Minnesota from March 3 to 10 for the Lake Superior Regional.

The robot that Team Magma built extends over 6 feet at full height. It works much like an extendable ladder, having four height settings in order to deliver polycarb discs and large rubber balls to score points. It has two intakes, one which uses a series of rollers to intake the game pieces, and one with a grabbing mechanism for the discs.

Ms. Whang, one of the advisors who will be traveling with the team, said they have overcome numerous obstacles, including the year-long sabbatical of robotics’ advisor Brian Silver.

“But we finished a bot and we are going to compete!” she said.

The bot is driven with an Xbox controller using a tank drive that controls the six motors on the robot’s wheels; a joystick controls each side of the robot’s wheel movement.

At these competitions, the team has practice matches, pit talking, qualifiers, and playoffs. The practice matches are exactly what they sound like, rounds that don’t count towards your ranking. Pit talking is where the competing team members talk to judges about their robots and the teams’ impact on their communities. Qualifiers rank the teams for the playoffs.

“There are many aspects that are being judged for awards, but we hope that we are able to stand out enough to receive a ticket to the World Championships,” Ms. Whang said.