St. Catharines is home to more than one championship team.
Tell the Falcons and their Golden Horseshoe League trophy to share the spotlight because Team 1114 GM Simbotics of Governor Simcoe Secondary School are World VEX Robotics gold medal champions.
1114 GM Simbotics won the medal at the (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) World Robotics Championships at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on April 12-13. On a more disappointing note, the team’s full-size robot, which was heavily favoured to also win the gold medal, came in twelfth overall.
Governor Simcoe Technical Director and 1114 GM Simbotics Head Coach Greg Phillips said his team’s robot was unfairly taken out of a chance to play on the Einstein Field, which is the gold-medal round arena.
“Team 48 (Delphi and Harding HS) pushed us into the scoring racks for about 25 to 29 seconds and had us pinned,” he said. “You’re only supposed to be able to push for about 10 seconds, but the ref didn’t call it, and it broke our robot’s arm off. The place went crazy and we actually became a little scared.”
Following the match, one of the team captains discussed the altercation with the referee, who explained he had given Team 48 a 10-point penalty.
“They should have been disqualified,” said Phillips.
Chris, member of Team Simbotics, said the robot was targeted because of the team’s reputation.
“They knew we were a strong team and they pushed us into the scoring rack. The ref didn’t call it and it sheered our arm in half.”
Team Simbotics is confident they would have won the gold medal with their robot Simbot Prime.
“We had one of the best alliances,” said Lindsey, team co-captain.
Despite the letdown, the team is still looking forward to next season.
“We’ll have a new challenge next year, so we get to wait and see,” said Luke, member of Team Simbotics.
Now that the world championships are over, the competitions are done for the year and Team Simbotics is preparing for the offseason.
“Now we just begin to do our rebuild and get a head start for next year,” says Melissa, driver of the VEX robot. “We have a short span of downtime where we can catch up on sleep and homework before our first invitational competition in July.”
VEX Driver Matthew said the World Championship was an event to remember.
“Being that it is my first year on the team I was expecting a lot less from this competition. However, as soon as I walked into the Georgia Dome I could feel the excitement go through my body.”