All Gael Force Robotics Teams Qualify for VEX Robotics World Championship


5327C poses with their robot after qualifying to worlds at NorCal States.

On March 3rd, teams 5327A, 5327B, and 5327C, all from the Dublin High School Gael Force Robotics Club, participated in the VEX Northern California State Competition in Vallejo. Meanwhile, 5327X went to Bakersfield for the Central California State Competition to compete as well. The B, C, and X teams did well enough at their respective competitions to qualify for the annual VEX World championships in Louisville, Kentucky. Meanwhile, A team scored high enough in skills to earn their spot. We will be competing there from April 25th to April 28th, over the course of four days.


This year, the VEX challenge is a game known as “In the Zone.” In this challenge, two alliances of three teams each try to outscore each other by using their robots to somehow stack cones onto mobile goals. Mobile goals are essentially larger and heavier versions of cones that are smooth and are used to stack cones on top of them. After stacking cones. the teams then have to deposit the mobile goal into one of three zones on the field. There is a 20, 10, and 5 point zone. Each mobile goal is worth whichever zone it is in and every cone on top of it is an additional two points. The team with the higher score wins the match. In order to succeed, bots must have a balance of speed and reliability.


At the state competitions, teams have to make it to semifinals or win the Excellence or Design award. At Vallejo, our school’s C team was second picked by the 2nd seed alliance, comprised of 8000A and 8000C, teams from Head-Royce in San Jose. C team won both quarterfinals matches and made it to semifinals. Unfortunately, they lost both matches and were eliminated. But, because they made it to semifinals, they were officially qualified for the World Championship. A and B team were allianced with 8000B, but unfortunately lost both matches in quarterfinals due to a series of unfortunate events. But, B team pulled through and ended up winning the Design Award, and therefore qualified to Worlds. X team also qualified to worlds at Bakersfield after winning quarterfinals 2-0 with 6671X and 62019P. Unfortunately, they lost soon after in semifinals after going 1-2. But, qualifying to worlds was the goal and this was accomplished.


5327A has a happy ending as well. Though they did not qualify at the states competition, there was still a skills competition on March 11th at Google. Skills competitions are different from normal competitions because the robots aren’t competing with each other in teams, they go through a driver and programming phase and try to earn the most amount of points. To qualify to worlds through skills, high school teams must place top 35 in the world. A team earned a programming skills score of 90 and a driver skills score of 102. The combined score of 192 placed them at 19 in the world, qualifying them to worlds.


But, competing in robotics is also a time for fun and bonding with your fellow team members. “We wanted to go there not just to try our best and vie for a qualification to the World Championships, but to just have fun,” said junior Wesley Wong, a member of C team. “The feeling of qualifying to Worlds is truly gratifying, knowing that the hundreds of hours that we spent in robotics finally paid off.”


With this, all four competition teams of DHS’s robotics club qualifies to worlds! We hope to do well there and make our school proud.