FTC team Winter Soldiers progress to Worlds


Anagha Sudhindra

FTC team Winter Soldiers prepare for Worlds.

Sumika Thapa , Feature Editor

On March 3 and 4, five local robotics teams competed at the First Tech Challenge (FTC) state championship in Iowa City with the hopes of progressing to Worlds, the international FTC competition. 

Originating thirteen years ago in Iowa, the robotics programs have flourished with around 100 teams competing in this year’s competition. Out of those teams, The Winter Soldiers are continuing  their journey to Worlds. 

Senior Anagha Sudhindra has been a XX year member of the team. “I’m really excited that our team was able to qualify for worlds this year because we have worked very hard to build a top tier robot. We are in the process of phasing out old members and preparing new members to lead the team, so going to worlds is a great opportunity for our team to gain experience,” shared Sudhindra.

At the Iowa state championship, teams are split into two divisions: the Gold division and the Black division.     

Six rounds of the robot games set the stage for the initial round of challenges. Taking place on a 12’ by 12’ field, robots with a maximum dimension of 18” cubed contend against each other with the help of randomly assigned  alliances. After a total of thirty-six games, the twelve winning teams from the previous qualifying rounds progressed to the playoffs.

and awards. 

Unlike the qualification matches before, in the playoffs, alliances chose their partners. The top four ranked teams in each division drafted other teams onto their alliance. “The process of forming these alliances and understanding other teams’ designs is one of the best features of the entire tournament because it creates room for professional communication,” shared senior Isisiah Steele, a member of the XXXXX. 

After the selection of members, they played in a bracket of best of three series to determine the four semifinal winning alliances, and then, those two division winners competed in the grand finals. 

After making it through the primary round, the teams progressed to the awards where each of them created and submitted a 15-page engineering portfolio of the season’s work. Teams also prepared a presentation for judges, presented for five minutes to judges in a judging room, and then answered questions for 10 minutes. This was also factored in awards consideration. 

The Winter Soldiers lost in the finals of the Black division, and Everything That’s Radical won the Gold division and lost in the grand finals against the two top teams in the state, who were also both top-50 teams in the world.

Everything That’s Radical won the Design award at state. The Winter Soldiers won Inspire 2nd place and Robo Minions won Inspire 3rd place.

At Worlds, Sudhindra and the other Winter Soldiers compete with 48 other teams.