If you’ve been keeping up with our blog you might remember us previously mentioning that we were going to Panama for the World Robotic Olympiad (WRO) International. Two teams earned their spot through ingenious concepts, and hard work. If you haven’t read up on it, you can do so [here]. However, good things always come in 3s!

            Just last weekend, in Kingston, Ontario, more of our teams battled for a spot in the WRO Internationals. The competition was not only fierce, but it was close. Two of our teams came close to victory that day with incredible performances that had people cheering. The first of the teams performed incredibly well, their robot avoiding obstacles and navigating on its own absurdly well. However, its competition was just as skillful, and both teams were neck and neck on the leaderboards. As a result, judges needed more time to review the performance of each robot and to double-check the tally of points to see who would come out on top. In the end, the judges gave their verdict, and our team came in second. A mere minor bump against an obstacle cost our team 2 points, and it was enough to drop us down to second place.

Team v^3, Future Engineers

            While they won’t be going onto the WRO competition, they still came second overall, and performed exceptionally well at the event. They are proud of their hard work, as they put up such an impressive fight in the robotic ring. We too are proud of them and are eager to see their hard work pay off again next year. But they weren’t the only ones who were gunning for Panama.

            Our other team also had a shot at the internationals, and they fought hard to try and get there. After performing very well in previous events, it came down to a tennis match to see who would go down to Panama in November. Their rival was another competent team, and had performed well so far, and so our team steeled itself for a hard fight.

The team preparing their bots for the tennis match

            The first match was tight, with the tennis balls being slung back and forth at rapid pace. It looked like we would take the lead, but the other teams robots ensured that just wouldn’t happen. Slowly, but surely, they took the advantage and closed out the match in the lead. We had lost. But thankfully, that was only the first of 3 matches.

            The second match began shortly after the first, and we were looking to avenge our previous loss. The balls went back and forth between the courts, but we gained the lead relatively quickly all things considered. The opposing team didn’t give up easily however, and we had to work to keep our advantage. But as the timer rang out, we firmly cemented our win, evening the scores between us and them.

            It all came down to that 3rd and final match. Electricity was in the air as it began, both teams knowing what was on the line. The match was close. Everyone kept their eyes on the table, holding their breath and clenching their fists. As the balls flung, people started to lose count as to who was in the lead. We could have been leading. We could have been losing. But then, tragedy struck. As our robots flung the tennis balls, we noticed not as many were returning. One of the rival teams’ robots had gotten stuck. Squished between the wall, it lay motionless, unable, or unwilling, to fight any longer. As the buzzer rang out, we exploded in joyous celebration. We had won, securing our place in the internationals.

Ready to represent Canada in Panama!

            Now, our teams gear and tool their robots to be ready for the big event. This November we will fight again, this time for Canada, as we once more try to secure first place in the WRO competitions. They will be flying out to Panama City in November, battling it out on the world stage between the 7th and the 9th. While tickets are unavailable, we will keep you informed on how the competition goes. We will see you again then!