Rancho Santa Fe School robotics teams excel at Robot Games


The R. Roger Rowe robotics teams had a strong showing at the San Diego County Fairgrounds Robot Games on June 15.

The Rancho Santa Fe Eagles were first in the Sumo competition, second and third in Line Follow, and second in FLL Scrimmage with a 350-point final round to beat out the third place “Purple Puffer Fish” from Torrey Hills Elementary School.

In the Sumo competition, the RSF Eagles 3 Team sumo bot, led by Jacob Morilak, Aaron Lustig and DJ Nelson, was undefeated in its quest to earn the top spot, never losing a single point in any of the double elimination rounds.

The sumo bot used in the competition was built by Tyler Bovenzi and Alex Lillian. The programming was done by Jacob Morilak and assisted by Brandon Fitzpatrick to incorporate the two light sensors into a logic loop. It was one of several Sumo-bots built and tested by the Eagles 3 team coached by Dan Morilak and Mark Nelson.

In the Line Follow competition, RSF Eagles 1 Team of Brandon Fitzpatrick, Michael Rattner and Paul Gauvreau took second place honors with an incredible 12.5 second run. Built and programmed by Brandon, their robot incorporated a complex mathematical algorithm to navigate the treacherous course of curves an turns. Third place went to the Eagles 3 team with their line following robot, built and programmed by DJ Nelson. The RSF Eagles 4 team of Ella Fox, Katherine Arnold, Anabelle Gauvreau, Arielle Sanford and Lucas Luwa produced a line follower that ran the course in a respectable time of 35 seconds.

In the FLL Scrimmage, each team had three attempts to best their competitors. Trailing several teams after two rounds, the RSF Eagles 2 team of Tyler Bovenzi, Alex Lillian and Jasmine King were up for their third and final attempt. After quickly navigating their robot successfully through the missions near home base, they selected the program to navigate the line and move their robot out to the distant bowling game.

When the robot turned early, Tyler quickly grabbed the robot and reset it at base much to coach Mark Bovenzi’s dismay. However, on the next attempt, the robot successfully navigated out to the bowling area and knocked down all but 2 pins... but, as the ball rebounded off the side of the table, it rolled back to knock down the last pins for a strike.

That final mission produced a total of 350 points, which pushed them past the “Purple Puffer Fish” score of 310 points for a second place finish. It was an exciting end to a very successful day for all the RSF Eagles teams.

— Submission