8169 Aries team from Taiwan Wins Judges’ Award in FRC San Francisco Regional
The 2023 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) San Francisco Regional took place from March 16 to 19 at Saint Ignatius College Preparatory School. Team 8169 Aries— comprising 18 students from Taiwan—visited San Francisco to compete against 41 other teams. The Education Division TECO in San Francisco met the team members and cheered for these talented students during the competition.
The team originally formed at Kangshan Senior High School, located in the Gangshan district of Kaohsiung/ This is well-known for its mutton hotpot and also for screw manufacturing, so the team chose the name Aries, and designed a logo that features a ram with large screws representing its horns.
The Kangshan Senior High students in the team had a passion for technology and the robotics field. They spent most of their after-school time and Sundays learning robotic design and manufacture related knowledge and skills, including engineering design, industrial design, machining, programming, artificial intelligence, a system on a chip (SoC), and computer aided design. Their goal was to apply what they were learning, so they designed and created their own robot. They also set up a robotic technology research club to spread the knowledge and skills for manufacturing robots with other students. This attracted a number of students from Kaohsiung Senior High and Kaohsiung Girls’ Senior High School to join the Aries team that gave an outstanding performance in this international high school robotics competition.
The Aries team went on to win the Judges’ Award in the San Francisco Regional. The judges were impressed by the team’s performance, and that despite “the unique challenges that they had to overcome, including language barriers and limited access to the FRC community, they developed a unique robot.”
There were 42 teams in the San Francisco Regional, and all except the Aries team were from California. Jeff Kuo, the Dean of Academic Affairs at Kangshan Senior High and the teacher in charge of the Aries team, said that they’d received support from the local teams even before their arrival, and this support helped them solve many key issues, such as finding batteries for the robot and the tent for their contest booth.
“The team started to work intensively from the third day of the new lunar year, in order to build a robot that could ‘pick up a yellow cone and a purple cube and move them to a designated place’”, said Kuo, “The robot wasn’t able to be controlled during testing and caused some damage, so the team learned that the only way to build a functional robot isn’t just to acquire knowledge from textbooks, but that it also requires connecting this kind of knowledge with experience accumulated from practice”.
Sophie Chou, the Director of the Education Division TECO in San Francisco praised the students for their skills and having the courage to challenge themselves. She encouraged the team to build on their experience from this competition, and to keep on doing research and be a role model for other students.